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Eco friendly nitration of toluene using modified zirconia

*K.R. Sunaja Devi  -  Department of Chemistry, Christ University, Bangalore-560029,, India
S. Jayashree  -  Department of Chemistry, Christ University, Bangalore-560029,, India

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Nitration of toluene has been studied in the liquid phase over a series of modified zirconia catalysts.  Zirconia, zirconia- ceria (Zr0.98Ce0.02)O2, sulfated zirconia and sulfated zirconia- ceria were synthesised by co precipitation method and were characterised by X-ray diffraction, BET surface area, Infra red spectroscopy analysis (FTIR), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X ray analysis (EDAX). The acidity of the prepared catalysts was determined by FTIR pyridine adsorption study. X-ray diffraction studies reveal that the catalysts prepared mainly consist of tetragonal phase with the crystallite size in the nano range and the tetragonal phase of zirconia is stabilized by the addition of ceria. The modified zirconia samples have higher surface area and exhibits uniform pore size distribution aggregated by zirconia nanoparticles. The onset of sulfate decomposition was observed around 723 K for sulfated samples. The catalytic performance was determined for the liquid phase nitration of toluene to ortho-, meta- and para- nitro toluene. The effect of reaction temperature, concentration of nitric acid, catalyst reusability and reaction time was also investigated. © 2013 BCREC UNDIP. All rights reserved

Received: 20th November 2012; Revised: 8th December 2012; Accepted: 7th January 2013

[How to Cite: K. R. S. Devi, S. Jayashree, (2013). Eco friendly nitration of toluene using modified zirconia. Bulletin of Chemical Reaction Engineering & Catalysis, 7 (3): 205-214. (doi:10.9767/bcrec.7.3.4154.205-214)]

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Keywords: Nitration of toluene; zirconia; zirconia-ceria; sulfated zirconia; sulfated zirconia-ceria.

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