Solvent effects in the hydrodechlorination of 2,4-dichlorophenol over pd/Al2O3

Santiago Gómez-Quero, Fernando Cardenas-Lizana, Mark A. Keane

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Solvent effects in the liquid phase (0.1 MPa; 303 K) hydrodechlorination (HDC) of 2,4-dichlorophenol have been established over Pd/Al2O3. In the absence of secondary reactions, catalyst deactivation, and transport limitations, a stepwise HDC yields 2-chlorophenol and phenol, where product selectivity was insensitive to the nature of the solvent. In contrast, the initial HDC rates exhibited a marked dependence on the reaction medium and increased in the order: benzene < THF < n-hexane < cyclohexane < alcohols < water. Higher rates result from the concomitant effect of an increase in the dielectric constant (e{open}) and a decrease in the molar volume (v) of the solvent, where the major (ca. 80%) contribution is due to e{open}. We attribute this response to the increased solvent capacity to stabilize the arenium intermediate at higher/lower e{open}v, an effect that extends to reaction in water + organic combinations. We provide, for the first time, a reliable quantification of solvent effects that can be potentially applied to other catalytic hydrogenolysis systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-767
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Catalytic hydrodechlorination
  • Chlorophenols
  • Pd/alumina
  • Solvent effects in catalysis
  • Water + alcohol mixtures


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