Synthesis of Isopulegol Through Cyclisation of Citronellal Using Solid Acid Catalysts: Catalytic Reaction Performance Evaluation and Process Parameters Optimization
The cyclisation of citronellal to isopulegol is a significant intermediate stage in the production of menthols. In this research work, the effects of acid treatment on montmorillonite clay have been investigated and used in citronellal cyclisation reactions. Furthermore, the effects of acid treatment and hetero-poly acid impregnation have been determined on the textural and catalytic properties of montmorillonite clay. The designed catalysts were characterized by XRD, N2 sorption, and NH3- TPD techniques. Acid treatment of montmorillonite resulted in the enhancement of surface area and pore volume. The catalytic activity and selectivity parameters were lessened due to the severe leaching of Al ions from tetrahedral crystalline structures (e.g., weakened structure and loss of acidity). Among all prepared materials, the heteropoly acid supported HCl treated montmorillonite catalyst was observed as a more active, stable, and selective catalyst that showed the highest catalytic performance in citronellal cyclisation under optimized process parameters. The catalytic activity and selectivity were enhanced with rising mesoporosity and acidity parameters due to HCl acid treatment and HPA impregnation.
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