In this study, the mesoporous ZrO<inf>2</inf> and Na-ZrO<inf>2</inf> were examined as heterogeneous solid catalysts under supercritical water for the β-ether bond scission of phenethyl phenyl ether (PPE). Na-ZrO<inf>2</inf> was more efficient than ZrO<inf>2</inf> in the dissociation of PPE. Yields of phenol and styrene were 39% and 16%, respectively, under 97% PPE conversion when 2.5 wt.% of Na-ZrO<inf>2</inf> catalyst was applied to a batch reactor filled with supercritical water (400 °C, 20 bar H<inf>2</inf> (initial pressure)) containing 2.5 wt.% PPE. The characterization revealed that the activities of ZrO<inf>2</inf> and Na-ZrO<inf>2</inf> were closely associated with the textural and acid/base properties of the catalysts. Notably, the reaction pathway and product distribution were determined by the concentration of acid and base sites on the catalyst's surface.
- Phenethyl phenyl ether
- Supercritical water
- β-Ether bond
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology