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The effect of dehydration in the oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone with supported catalysts

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Publication details

DatePublished - 2001
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)204-210
Original languageEnglish


The influence of the product water formed in the catalytic oxidation of ethylbenzene to acetophenone using air in a batch reactor was studied. The water adsorbed in the hydrophilic catalyst supports, that is, alumina or silica, has a significant negative effect on the oxidation processes. The application of a dehydration unit in the catalytic oxidation of ethylbenzene with air in a batch reactor was studied using sulphuric acid, molecular sieves, and silica gel as dehydrants. Processes were developed to use the dehydration unit to dehydrate the condensed product, from a Dean Stark trap, and the reaction mixture. Experimental results confirmed that an improvement in reaction performance was achieved using the dehydration unit to decrease the water concentration in the reaction mixture below its saturation solubility. The effect of a continuous increase in the temperature of the oxidation process, compared to isothermal operation, is shown to improve the oxidation performance.

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