Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.137, No.50, 15781-15794, 2015
Dehydration Pathways of 1-Propanol on HZSM-5 in the Presence and Absence of Water
The Bronsted acid-catalyzed gas-phase dehydration of 1-propanol (0.075-4 kPa) was studied on zeolite H-MFI (Si/A1 = 26, containing minimal amounts of extra framework Al moieties) in the absence and presence of co-fed water (0-2.5 kPa) at 413-443 K. It is shown that propene can be formed from monomeric and dimeric adsorbed 1-propanol. The stronger adsorption of 1-propanol relative to water indicates that the reduced dehydration rates in the presence of water are not a consequence of the competitive adsorption between 1-propanol and water. Instead, the deleterious effect is related to the different extents of stabilization of adsorbed intermediates and the relevant elimination/substitution transition states by water. Water stabilizes the adsorbed 1-propanol monomer significantly more than the elimination transition state, leading to a higher activation barrier and a greater entropy gain for the rate-limiting step, which eventually leads to propene. In a similar manner, an excess of 1-propanol stabilizes the adsorbed state of 1-propanol more than the elimination transition state. In comparison with the monomer-mediated pathway, adsorbed dimer and the relevant transition states for propene and ether formation are similarly, while less effectively, stabilized by intrazeolite water molecules.