Experimental and computational studies of the production of 1,3-butadiene from 2,3-butanediol using SiO2-supported H3PO4 derivatives

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Abstract

Silica-supported phosphoric acid and metal phosphate catalyzed 1,3-butadiene (BDE) production from 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO) was studied using experimental and computational techniques. The catalyst was initially tested in a continuous flow reactor using commercially available 2,3-BDO, leading to maximum BDE yields of 63 C%. Quantum chemical mechanistic studies revealed 1,2-epoxybutane is a kinetically viable and thermodynamically stable intermediate, supported by experimental demonstration that this epoxide can be converted to BDE under standard reaction conditions. Newly proposed E2 and SN2’ elementary steps were studied to rationalize the formation of BDE and all detected side-products. Additionally, using QM/MM (ONIOM) calculations, we modeled silica-supported phosphate catalysts to study the effect of the alkali metal center. Natural population analysis showed that phosphate oxygen atoms are more negatively charged in CsH2PO4/SiO2 than in H3PO4/SiO2. In combination with temperature-programmed desorption experiments using CO2, the results of this study suggest that the improved selectivity achieved when adding the metal center is related to an increase in the basicity of the catalyst.

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Supplementary material

Electronic Supporting Information
Details regarding experimental procedures and computational methods
Thermochemistry data and molecular coordinates
Thermochemistry data and molecular coordinates