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Surface Species in the Direct Amination of Methanol Over BrØNsted Acidic Mordenite Catalysts

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Quantitative in situ infrared spectroscopy in combination with kinetic analysis is utilized to derive mechanistic aspects for the reaction of methanol with ammonia on Brønsted acidic mordenite. Under non-reactive conditions, a coadsorption complex between methanol and ammonia is found, in which only ammonia is in direct interaction with the Brønsted acid sites of the zeolite. This complex is proposed to be the precursor for the formation of protonated methylamines in the zeolite pores which are formed in sequential order up to tetramethylammonium ions. These methylamines are unable to desorb under reaction conditions in the absence of ammonia. They leave the surface either by ammonia adsorption assisted desorption or by scavenging of methyl groups from protonated methylamines by ammonia. Both steps are concluded to be potentially rate determining.

Affiliations: 1: University of Twente, Department of Chemical Technology, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands


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