The synthesis of maleic anhydride: study of a new process and improvement of the industrial catalyst

Pavarelli, Giulia (2015) The synthesis of maleic anhydride: study of a new process and improvement of the industrial catalyst , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6902.
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Maleic anhydride is an important chemical intermediate mainly produced by the selective oxidation of n-butane, an industrial process catalyzed by vanadyl pyrophosphate-based materials, (VO)2P2O7. The first topic was investigated in collaboration with a company specialized in the production of organic anhydrides (Polynt SpA), with the aim of improving the performance of the process for the selective oxidation of n-butane to maleic anhydride, comparing the behavior of an industrial vanadyl pyrophosphate catalysts when utilized either in the industrial plant or in lab-scale reactor. The study was focused on how the catalyst characteristics and reactivity are affected by the reaction conditions and how the addition of a dopant can enhance the catalytic performance. Moreover, the ageing of the catalyst was studied, in order to correlate the deactivation process with the modifications occurring in the catalyst. The second topic was produced within the Seventh Framework (FP7) European Project “EuroBioRef”. The study was focused on a new route for the synthesis of maleic anhydride starting from an alternative reactant produced by fermentation of biomass:“bio-1-butanol”. In this field, the different possible catalytic configurations were investigated: the process was divided into two main reactions, the dehydration of 1-butanol to butenes and the selective oxidation of butenes to maleic anhydride. The features needed to catalyze the two steps were analyzed and different materials were proposed as catalysts, namely Keggin-type polyoxometalates, VOPO4∙2H2O and (VO)2P2O7. The reactivity of 1-butanol was tested under different conditions, in order to optimize the performance and understand the nature of the interaction between the alcohol and the catalyst surface. Then, the key intermediates in the mechanism of 1-butanol oxidehydration to MA were studied, with the aim of understanding the possible reaction mechanism. Lastly, the reactivity of the chemically sourced 1-butanol was compared with that one of different types of bio-butanols produced by biomass fermentation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pavarelli, Giulia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Maleic anhydride, n-butane, bio-butanol, vanadyl pyrophosphate, selective oxidation, dehydration of alcohol, V/P/O catalyst
Data di discussione
30 Aprile 2015

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