Methanol concentration, (¡m,oh [mol/l]
Fig. 8.16 Influence of cross-linking of polymer/ceramic ion-exchange catalysts on the activity of the MTBE synthesis at low polymer loading reaction in MTBE synthesis is DIB formation. Fig. 8.17 shows the influence of cross-linking on this side reaction. By-product formation starts earlier with low cross-linking. At high cross-linking this reaction arises later, but with a steeper slope. The reason for this behavior is that at low cross-linking the catalyst is rich in isobutene promoting the side reaction. As mentioned above, porosity is also influenced, leading to higher selectivity for MTBE at high cross-linking. At very low methanol concentrations (below 0.25 mol/L) the ratio changes: low cross-linking leads to higher MTBE selectivity.
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