Isomerization of alpha-pinene over acid treated natural zeolite
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In this study, isomerization of α-pinene was studied over several acid-treated natural zeolite catalysts rich in clinoptilolite. Zeolite samples were contacted with HCl at different concentrations at 30°'C or at 60°C for 3 and 24 hours and tested in isomerization reaction of alpha-pinene. The catalysts prepared were characterized by XRD, nitrogen adsorption, and acidity studies. Acidity strength and the distribution of Lewis and Brönsted acid sites of the catalysts were determined, and their catalytic activities in α-pinene isomerization and selectivities to main reaction products, camphene and limonene, were investigated. Acid treatment improved the selectivity of catalyst samples to camphene, decreasing the selectivity to limonene, probably forcing limonene to secondary reactions at high conversions. The kinetics of α-pinene consumption was described by first-order kinetics. Two kinetic models were tested for the reaction mechanism and one model was found to give a good correlation between the theoretical and experimental data. In the models, the key intermediate was the pinylcarbonium ion, which was formed irreversibly from α-pinene. Number and distribution of Lewis and Brönsted acid sites affect the formation of bicyclic and monocyclic products.