Continuous Production of Benzylideneacetophenone via Gas Phase Reaction of Benzaldehyde and Acetophenone: Mechanism and Reaction Kinetics

Chiara Pischetola, Alicia Ruiz-Ruiz, Fernando Cardenas-Lizana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The continuous gas-phase condensation of acetophenone (A) with benzaldehyde (B) into valuable (chalcone) benzylideneacetophenone (P = 1 atm, 498 K ≤ T ≤ 573 K; Eapp = 58 ± 4 kJ mol−1) has been performed over an array of commercial oxides (i.e. SiO2, ZnO, ZrO2, CeO2 and MgO) with modified crystal size
(18–50 nm , from XRD), specific surface area (8–176 m2 g−1) and total surface basicity (based on carbon
dioxide temperature programmed desorption (CO2-TPD)). Reaction operation under chemical controlled
regime has been expressly established by parameter estimation and experimental variation of contact time
and catalyst/reactant ratio. Full selectivity to target benzylideneacetophenone was achieved over ZnO, ZrO2
and MgO, while benzaldehyde disproportionation to benzyl alcohol and benzoic acid (Cannizzaro reaction) was promoted using SiO2 and CeO2. A direct correlation between activity and specific (per m2) Lewis
catalyst basicity has been presented, where MgO delivered the highest chalcone production rate. The reaction orders with respect to acetophenone and benzaldehyde have been estimated, while the experimentally
determined benzylideneacetophenone production rates/PA/PB profiles were subjected to a LangmuirHinshelwood type kinetic modelling. The best fit was obtained with a model involving non-comp etitive adsorption of A and B with the surface -C–C- bond formation as rate-determining. Our results demonstrate, for
the first time, the sole formation of benzylideneacetophenone over extended reaction time (28 days onstream) through an alternative continuous gas phase route involving acetophenone + benzaldehyde condensation using MgO to deliver an order of magnitude greater productivity relative to conventional batch
liquid systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129306
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date11 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Acetophenone
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Chalcone
  • Gas phase condensation
  • Langmuir-Hinshelwood model
  • MgO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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