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Comparative Study Between Ethylbenzene Disproportionation Reaction and its Ethylation Reaction with Ethanol over ZSM-5

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Ethylation of ethylbenzene with ethanol has been studied over ZSM-5 catalyst in a riser simulator that mimics the operation of a fluidized-bed reactor. The feed molar ratio of ethylbenzene:ethanol is 1:1. The study was carried out at 350, 400, 450, and 500 °C for reaction times of 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, and 15 s. Comparisons are made between the results of the ethylbenzene ethylation reaction with that of ethylbenzene disproportionation reaction earlier reported. The effect of reaction conditions on ethylbenzene reactivity, p-diethylbenzene selectivity, total diethylbenzene (DEB) isomers selectivity, p-DEB-to-m-DEB ratio, benzene-to-DEB molar ratio, and benzene selectivity, are reported. Benzene selectivity is about 10 times more in the EB disproportion reaction as compared to its ethylation reaction with ethanol at 350 °C. In addition, the results showed a p-DEB/m-DEB ratio for the EB ethylation reaction varying between 1.2–1.7, which is greater than the equilibrium values. Increase in temperature shifts the alkylation/dealkylation equilibrium towards dealkylation, thereby decreasing conversion and selectivity to DEB.

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The author would like to express his appreciation to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for their financial support. Also, the support of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals is highly appreciated. Acknowledgement also goes to Mr. Mariano Gica for his help during the experimental work.

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Correspondence to S. Al-Khattaf.

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Tukur, N.M., Al-Khattaf, S. Comparative Study Between Ethylbenzene Disproportionation Reaction and its Ethylation Reaction with Ethanol over ZSM-5. Catal Lett 131, 225–233 (2009).

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