Aliphatic amines are amongst the most important chemical intermediates. The worldwide annual production of these amines is estimated to be several hundreds of thousands of tons. The most practiced production route is the reaction of ammonia with alcohols to produce alkylamines of different substitution. For the amination of light alcohols, and especially methanol, an amorphous silica-alumina catalyst is commonly used. Under the reaction conditions normally applied in the industrial production of the alkylamines, the product distribution approaches thermodynamical equilibrium over these catalysts. This product distribution often does not match the market demand for the alkylamines, which in general is higher for lower substituted amines. This mismatch in product distribution and market demand has led to extensive research and screening efforts to use zeolites in methylamine synthesis. As a result, a zeolite based catalyst for methylamine synthesis is now commercially available. The elementary steps in the synthesis of methylamines, with respect to mechanism and shape selectivity, have also become more clear over the last years, but are still cause for debate. A deeper insight in these elementary steps will provide a better fundamental basis for further catalyst development and improvement.
|Award date||11 Jun 1998|
|Place of Publication||enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 1998|