Res. Chem. Intermed.
, Vol. 34, Nos 5–7, pp. 439–454 (2008)
Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008.
Also available online - www.brill.nl/rci
Transformations of aromatic hydrocarbons over zeolites
M. BEJBLOVÁ, N. ŽILKOVÁ and J.
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic,
Dolejškova 3, CZ-182 23 Prague 8, Czech Republic
Received 22 August 2006; accepted 29 December 2006
Abstract—Aromatic hydrocarbons represent an important group of starting materials, intermedi-
ates, as well as ﬁnal products produced in the chemical industry in the range from large processes
in petrochemistry up to the synthesis of ﬁne chemicals. This short overview covers the recent achieve-
ments in acid-catalyzed transformations of aromatic hydrocarbons with a special focus on alkylation–
isomerization–disproportionation reactions in petrochemistry, and acylations or condensations used
mainly in synthesis of chemical specialties. In the case of ﬁne chemical synthesis, some zeolite ap-
plications in the preparation of important intermediates for pharmaceutical or fragrance products are
presented. Advantages and disadvantages of the various types of zeolite are discussed in these reac-
tions from the point of view of their (shape) selective properties, as well as the accessibility of acid
Keywords: Aromatic hydrocarbons; zeolites; alkylation; isomerization; acylation; condensation; ﬁne
Aromatic hydrocarbons represent about 30% of the total of 8–9 million known
organic compounds and the amount of aromatic chemicals produced by organic
chemical industry is of a similar order . From this point of view the world
overall demand for benzene was estimated to be around 33 million ton. The most
important products starting from benzene are ethyl benzene, cumene, p-diethyl
benzene, cymenes, p-di-isopropyl benzenes and linear C
[2, 3], which are prepared by acid-catalyzed alkylations, most of them including
zeolite catalysts .
The traditional technologies for petrochemical transformations of aromatic hy-
drocarbons used in the past and sometimes still in use employ harmful strong min-
eral or Lewis acids like HF or H
, which exhibit severe corrosion
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