Renewable p-Xylene from 2,5-Dimethylfuran and Ethylene Using Phosphorus-Containing Zeolite Catalysts

Hong Je Cho, Limin Ren, Vivek Vattipalli, Yu Hao Yeh, Nicholas Gould, Bingjun Xu, Raymond J. Gorte, Raul Lobo, Paul J. Dauenhauer, Michael Tsapatsis, Wei Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


p-Xylene is a major commodity chemical used for the production of polyethylene terephthalate, a polymer with applications in polyester fibers, films, and bottles. The Diels–Alder cycloaddition of 2,5-dimethylfuran and ethylene and the subsequent dehydration of the cycloadduct intermediate is an attractive reaction pathway to produce renewable p-xylene from biomass feedstocks. However, the highest yields reported previously do not exceed 75 %. We report that P-containing zeolite Beta is an active, stable, and selective catalyst for this reaction with an unprecedented p-xylene yield of 97 %. It can catalyze the dehydration reaction selectively from the furan-ethylene cycloadduct to p-xylene without the production of alkylated and oligomerized products. This behavior is distinct from that of Al-containing zeolites and other solid phosphoric acid catalysts and establishes a commercially attractive process for renewable p-xylene production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • cycloaddition
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • phosphorus
  • renewable resources
  • zeolites


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