Emmert, Marion H
The dehydration of alcohols is an important step to producing biofuels from biomass, but typically involves very high temperatures. Current low-temperature dehydration reactions use corrosive and volatile acids, do not dehydrate primary alcohols to the corresponding olefins, and do not dissolve biomass starting materials. This study investigates a new catalytic system for the production of alkenes from alcohols using a combined Lewis and Bronstedt acid catalyst in an ionic liquid solvent, which acts as co-catalyst. The effect of various conditions such as temperature, time, solvents, and catalyst identities were optimized. Mechanistic studies, a solubility study, and a substrate scope show good to excellent yields and suggest a novel pathway for alcohol to olefin conversions.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry