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    Solid Acid Catalysts for Surfactant Synthesis
    Marcelo M. Boveri
    Fecha de lectura:06 de July de 2012
    Directores:Enrique Sastre
    There may be no better class of chemicals than surfactants to summarise the quandary the current technological society is facing: on the one hand, the ever growing demand for materials and products complying with specifications becoming more demanding by the day; on the other hand, the manufacture of such products by means of processes that meet the requirements for sustainability, in terms of use of natural or minimally modified raw materials, minimisation of contaminant effluent streams and energy expense reduction. In such context, catalysis spearheads both requirements, with heterogeneous catalysis being a field of profuse research regarding the replacement of high environmental impact manufacture technologies, as well as the development of novel technologies, unfeasible to the traditional, homogeneous-based technologies. The chemicals chosen for the present work were glycerol monoesters and linear phenyl alkanes, which belong to two clearly different classes within the group of surfactants, with regard to both applications and development of their respective manufacture technologies.
    The catalysts of choice for the preparation of the aforementioned products were sulphonic acidity-bearing MCM-41-type hexagonal ordered mesoporous materials and big pore zeolytic structures, namely FAU, MOR, ZSM12, MCM-58, MCM-68 and LTL. As for the first group, a systematic study of the synthesis and modification variables was carried out in order to assess their influence in the textural, chemical and catalytic properties of the materials; whereas for the second group, a study of synthesis and modification of the zeolytic structures was carried out so as to assess their influence in the catalytic performance of the resulting materials for the alkylation of benzene with a-n-olefins process.
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