The effect of synthesis and post-synthesis modifications on the activity of zeolite beta for cumene synthesis

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The isopropylation of benzene to produce cumene is an important petrochemical process since cumene is used as a chemical intermediate for the production of phenol and acetone. In recent years, the good performance of zeolite Beta for this particular reaction has often been reported in the literature (Reddy et al., 1993, Bellussi et al., 1995 and Perego et al., 1996). It is known, from the numerous studies that have been carried out on other zeolite types, that post synthesis modifications such as dealumination of the zeolite framework tend to enhance the activity of these zeolites for catalytic reactions. Moreover, the effect of synthesis parameters on the catalytic activity of zeolite Beta is an important issue that has not been thoroughly investigated in the literature. In this study, a commercial parent zeolite Beta catalyst (sample A) was modified by post synthesis modifications such as steaming, acid washing or steaming followed by acid washing. A series of zeolite Beta catalysts were also synthesised by different techniques. The samples were characterised with respect to structure, morphology, particle size, number of acid sites, co-ordination state of aluminium and the environment of silicon atoms. The isopropylation of benzene to cumene was used as a test reaction to evaluate the effect of post-synthesis modifications and synthesis procedure on the catalytic activity of the zeolite Beta catalysts.

Bibliography: pages 128-140.