TRANSALKYLATION OF BENZENE WITH XYLENE ON ZnO SUPPORTED ALUMINA CATALYSTS
Screening of a synthesized ZnO-supported alumina catalyst for benzene transalkylation with xylene was carried out in a batch reactor at atmospheric pressure. The catalyst was prepared via the incipient wet impregnation method and calcined under air at 600˚C for 3 hours. The catalyst characterized with XRD and FTIR shows the deposition of ZnO (2 wt%) on the alumina support. The performance of the catalyst was assessed through reactant (benzene) conversion and product (ethylbenzene) yield. Catalytic experiments were conducted within the temperature range of 60-80˚C to elucidate the transformation of these aromatics over the prepared catalyst. The effects of reaction parameters such as temperature, time and catalyst dosage (from 0-1.3% wt/wt) on benzene conversion and ethylbenzene yield were also studied. A maximum benzene conversion (46.70%) with ethylbenzene yield (63.50%) was obtained at 70˚C for 45 mins and 0.7 wt% catalyst dosage. The study revealed that the catalyst is active and holds potential for benzene transalkyaltion reactions for industrial application.