Ethylene to para-Xylene

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 16 September 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Journal of the American Chemical Society/ACS Publications
thumbnail image: Ethylene to <em>para</em>-Xylene

As the price of oil goes up and supplies dwindle, alternative feedstocks become increasingly important for servicing the chemical industry. Ethylene, commonly released from oil industrially, can also be generated from biomass via bioethanol. A team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, have demonstrated that ethylene can act as a useful feedstock in the preparation of an important commodity chemical, p-xylene (pictured). This chemical is one of the highest volume chemicals derived from petroleum. It is used to generate the dimethyl ester of terephthalic acid for copolymerization with ethylene glycol to produce 11 billion tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) annually.


p
-Xylene is one of the products of catalytic reforming of various crude oil streams. However, the team has shown how ethylene, as the sole feedstock, can be trimerized to hexane and thence to 2,4-hexadiene. A Diels-Alder reaction with another ethylene molecule then forms 3,6-dimethylcyclohexene. p-Xylene can then be produced from this intermediate without isomeric side-products through catalytic dehydrogenation, the team explains.


Article Views: 3815

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


CONNECT:

ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter


A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH