Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2008, 73, 1061-1088

Aromatic Transformation in Fluidized Bed Reactors

Sule Rabiu and Sulaiman Al-Khattaf*

Chemical Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia


In this work three important aromatic transformations, namely: toluene disproportionation, toluene methylation and m-xylene isomerization, were investigated in a riser simulator which closely mimics the operation of commercial fluidized bed reactors. The transformations were studied over a ZSM-5 based catalyst with medium acidity of 0.23 mmol/g and a series of Y zeolites of acidities between 0.55 and 0.03 mmol/g. For pure toluene feed, it was observed that conversion over the ZSM-5 based catalyst and the weakly acidic Y zeolite (USY-1) was very low. However, with the highly acidic Y zeolite (H-Y), significant toluene conversion was observed with paring reaction more prominent than disproportionation. On the other hand, when toluene was alkylated with methanol, higher toluene conversions were achieved over both the ZSM-5 based and the weakly acidic USY-1 catalysts as compared to when pure toluene feed was used. In addition, p-xylene/o-xylene (P/O) ratios higher than the equilibrium values were obtained in the reaction product over both catalysts. Finally, for m-xylene isomerization it was found that m-xylene conversion increased initially as the acidity of the catalyst increased up to 0.1 mmol/g beyond which any further increase in acidity resulted in a slight decrease in the m-xylene conversion.

Keywords: Toluene disproportionation; Toluene methylation; m-Xylene isomerization; Fluidized bed reactors; Zeolite catalyst.

References: 23 live references.