Styrene is an important monomer for the production of different types of (co-) polymers that are used in, e.g., toys, medical devices, food packaging, paper coatings etc. Styrene is produced with several different industrial processes. In 1998, the production of styrene monomer was approximately 21 million tons that are produced or used by more than 15,000 plants worldwide. Two of the largest production processes are described in Chapter 1 and both have their major drawbacks. These drawbacks have prompted researchers (academic and industrial) to study other styrene synthesis routes. Two possible synthesis routes are introduced in Chapter 1. One of these possibilities is the side chain alkylation of toluene with methanol (MeOH) using basic zeolites. The toluene side chain alkylation reaction with methanol was first discovered by Sidorenko et al. (Dokl. Akad. Nauk. SSSR 1967, 173, 132) in the mid sixties. Since then researchers all over the world have tried to improve the styrene productivity. Major drawbacks are the high methanol conversion to byproducts like CO, H2, and dimethyl ether (DME) and the low yield of styrene. This thesis describes our efforts to understand the fundamentals of the interaction between methanol and the zeolite host and its reaction with toluene.
|Award date||16 Oct 2002|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Oct 2002|