Selective methylation of toluene using CO2 and H2 to para-xylene

Jiachang Zuo, Weikun Chen, Jia Liu, Xinping Duan, Linmin Ye, Youzhu Yuan
2020 Science Advances  
Toluene methylation with methanol to produce xylene has been widely investigated. A simultaneous side reaction of methanol-to-olefin over zeolites is hard to avoid, resulting in an unsatisfactory methylation efficiency. Here, CO2 and H2 replace methanol in toluene methylation over a class of ZnZrOx–ZSM-5 (ZZO-Z5) dual-functional catalysts. Results demonstrate that the reactive methylation species (H3CO*; * represents a surface species) are generated more easily by CO2 hydrogenation than by
more » ... nol dehydrogenation. Catalytic performance tests on a fixed-bed reactor show that 92.4% xylene selectivity in CO-free products and 70.8% para-xylene selectivity in xylene are obtained on each optimized catalyst. Isotope effects of H2/D2 and CO2/13CO2 indicate that xylene product is substantially generated from toluene methylation rather than disproportionation. A mechanism involving generation of reactive methylation species on ZZO by CO2 hydrogenation and migration of the methylation species to Z5 pore for the toluene methylation to form xylene is proposed.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.aba5433 pmid:32937362 fatcat:2tyuuyfdbjeodevgfng3gielni