, Volume 10, Issue 3-4, pp 239-247

Superacidic FSO3H/HF catalyzed butane isomerization [1]

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Superacid catalyzed isomerization of butane was studied. Highly efficient isomerization of butane to 2-methylpropane (isobutane) was achieved using fluorosulfuric acid containing up to 5% of hydrogen fluoride acting as a protic co-acid. The isomerization when carried out in excess FSO3H at 21 ° C in a flow system gave ∼70% conversion to 2-methylpropane with generally less than 3% cracking. When 2-methylpropane was isomerized under similar conditions about 12% butane was formed. Attempted isomerization of pentane and hexane with prolonged reaction times in a static system results in predominant protolytic cleavage (cracking).