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Ion-exchanges resins: synthesis, characterization and evaluation in alkylation reaction

Three cationic resins (commercial Amberlyst 15 and Lewatit SPC112, and MLS 07, synthesized in our laboratory) were utilized as catalysts in alkylation reactions. MLS07 resin, prepared by suspension copolymerization of styrene and divinylbenzene, was produced in selected conditions in order to present average particle size and porosity close to those of Amberlyst 15. The SO3H active groups were introduced in the MLS07 resin by sulfonation of the aromatic rings. Samples of the three resins, of two granulometric ranges each, were charactherized by nitrogen adsorption (specific surface area, pore volume and average pore diameter), electron scanning microscopy (morphology) and by their ion exchange capacity. The catalysts were used in alkylation reactions of toluene with benzyl alcohol. The influence of parameters such as avarage particle size, morphology, catalyst type and reaction temperature on the conversion of the benzyl alcohol and on the reaction selectivity relative to the formation of benzyl-toluene, was sutdied. The data obtained show that Amberlyst 15 and MLS 07 presented better performance as compared to that of Lewatit SPC112. In all the reaction conditions employed Lewatit SPC 112 showed the lowest activity and selectivity in the formation of the desired product (o-, m-, p- benzyltoluene). This behavior may be mainly attributed to the fact that Lewatit SPC112 has the lowest surface area of the three resins.

Ion-exchange resins; synthesis; characterization; heterogeneous catalysis; alkylation; benzyl alcohol; benzyl-toluenes

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