An investigation of heterogeneous base
catalysed acetone conversion.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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A series of materials have been compared for their activity in the base catalysed
condensation of acetone. Activities have been compared after extended times on stream
(18 h) and under a H2 containing atmosphere at elevated pressure which is designed to
mimic conditions applicable for the single stage transformation of acetone to MIBK. In
general, catalysts without a strong hydrogenation function have been screened and so
mesityl oxide is the dominant reaction product. However, 1%Pd5%MgO/SiO2 does exhibit
high selectivity towards MIBK, demonstrating that single-stage conversion is possible
under the conditions investigated.
Catalytic activity is found to be a strong function of the material tested. However, when the
influence of surface area is taken into account, a spectrum of area normalised conversion
rates is evident. These rates were found to vary in the order 36.5% KNO3/Al2O3 > Li/MgO
> 36.5% KNO3/ZrO2 > 36.5% KNO3/Zr(OH)4 > MgO derived from Mg(OH)2.MgCO3 >
14% KNO3/Al2O3 > MgO derived from Mg(OH)2 > 14% KNO3/Zr(OH)4 > ZrO2 > 14%
KNO3/ZrO2 > Y-Zr(OH)4.
When comparing materials produced from different precursors, differences in catalytic
behaviour are apparent implying structure-sensitivity and/or the influence of different
impurity contents. The role of dopant, additional phase level and precursor phase has also
been examined demonstrating that all these parameters are important.
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