—Xylene From Ethylene “Chemists create process to make terephthalic acid precursor from alternative feedstocks” Chemists have invented a method to selectively prepare p-xylene from only ethylene (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja307612b). The achievement creates an opportunity to make the commodity chemical terephthalic acid and its blockbuster derivative polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from alternatively sourced p-xylene. p-Xylene is typically produced by catalytic reforming of various crude oil streams in refineries. Using ethanol from biomass or ethane from shale gas would reduce reliance on crude oil as feedstock for p-xylene production. The process, developed by Thomas W. Lyons, Maurice Brookhart, and coworkers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, starts with chromium-catalyzed ethylene trimerization to form hexene, followed by an iridium-catalyzed dehydrogenation step to make hexadiene.
by Stephen K. Ritter |
October 01, 2012