The hydrogenation of acetophenone was investigated in methanol, in acetic acid, and in mixtures of these solvents over an Rh-B catalyst deposited on charcoal.
Both in methanol and in acetic acid the reaction is of zero order; reaction in acetic acid is three times as fast as in methanol.
The main reaction product in the hydrogenation of acetophenone in methanol is α-methylbenzyl alcohol. Among the products of the hydrogenation of acetophenone in acetic acid ethylbenzene and ethylcyclohexane are present, as well as α-methylbenzyl alcohol.
In the binary solvents increase in acetic acid concentration leads to increase in reaction rate; the relative amounts of the reaction products remain approximately constant. The maximum content of ethylcyclohexane in the catalyzate is observed in the hydrogenation of acetophenone in a 1 ∶ 1 mixture of acetic acid and methanol.
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Taber, A.M., Barinov, N.S., Polkpvnikov, B.D. et al. Hydrogenation of acetophenone over an Rh-B catalyst. Russ Chem Bull 13, 844–848 (1964). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00846502
- Acetic Acid