The SO3H-functionalized ionic liquids were synthesized by using pyridine and 1,4-butane or 1,3-propane sulfone as the source and characterized by NMR and time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The acidity of the ionic liquids determined by the Hammett method is almost the same as that of a conventional acid, such as H2SO4. The catalytic performance of ionic liquids for the tert-butylation of p-cresol with tert-butanol was evaluated; by using the ionic liquids as catalysts at the optimum reaction conditions, 79% of the p-cresol conversion and 92% of the selectivity to 2-tert-buty1-p-cresol can be obtained. The spent ionic liquid can be recovered and recycled. The possible mechanism for this reaction system was discussed based on the reaction results and the ab initio calculation results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering