Metal salts with highly electronegative cations as efficient catalysts for the liquid-phase nitration of benzene by NO2 to nitrobenzene

  • Shenghui Zhou
  • Kuiyi YouEmail author
  • Zhengming Yi
  • Pingle Liu
  • He’an LuoEmail author
Research Article


Metal salts with highly electronegative cations have been used to effectively catalyze the liquid-phase nitration of benzene by NO2 to nitrobenzene under solvent-free conditions. Several salts including FeCl3, ZrCl4, AlCl3, CuCl2, NiCl2, ZnCl2, MnCl2, Fe(NO3)3∙9H2O, Bi (NO3)3∙5H2O, Zr(NO3)4∙5H2O, Cu(NO3)2∙6H2O, Ni (NO3)2∙6H2O, Zn(NO3)2∙6H2O, Fe2(SO4)3, and CuSO4 were examined and anhydrous FeCl3 exhibited the best catalytic performance under the optimal reaction conditions. The benzene conversion and selectivity to nitrobenzene were both over 99%. In addition, it was determined that the metal counterion and the presence of water hydrates in the salt affects the catalytic activity. This method is simple and efficient and may have potential industrial application prospects.


metal salts electronegativity nitrobenzene NO2 catalytic nitration 


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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this work by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21676226 and 21306158), the Collaborative Innovation Center of New Chemical Technologies for Environmental Benignity and Efficient Resource Utilization, and the Project of Technological Innovation & Entrepreneurship Platform for Hunan Youth (2014).


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical EngineeringXiangtan UniversityXiangtanChina
  2. 2.National & Local United Engineering Research Center for Chemical Process Simulation and IntensificationXiangtan UniversityXiangtanChina

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