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On the investigation of a phase-transfer catalysis reaction in an oscillatory baffled reactor

Wilson, B. and Ni, X. and Sherrington, D.C. (2001) On the investigation of a phase-transfer catalysis reaction in an oscillatory baffled reactor. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 40 (23). pp. 5300-5304. ISSN 0888-5885

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Abstract

A liquid-liquid phase-transfer catalysis (PTC) system investigated in this work consists of two immiscible liquid phases, n-butyl bromide (BuBr, with toluene as an organic solvent) and sodium phenolate (NaOPh, dissolved in water), each containing a reagent. To initiate the reaction between reagents a phase-transfer mechanism is required, which is accomplished through the use of a phase-transfer catalyst (PT-Cat). The PT-Cat transfers one reagent from one phase to the other, whereupon the other reagent can react with the catalyst-reagent transient. In our work two types of PT-Cat, i.e., benzyltributylammonium chloride (BTAC) and tetrabutylammonium bromide (TBAB), were used. The PTC reaction is performed in both an oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR) and a stirred tank reactor (STR). In this paper we report our experimental results of reaction rates in the two reactors for a range of operating conditions. Our preliminary results indicate that the OBR has the capability of enhancing reaction rates above those observed in the STR.