The alkylations of benzene with ethylene and propylene were performed in a fixed bed reactor by two types of macrorecticular ion exchange resin catalyst, Amberlyst 15 and Amberlyst XN-1010.
External mass transfer resistance could be neglected when the flow rate of reaction mixture was over 500 ml/min (STP), and the macropore diffusion resistance could be neglected because the reaction rate was independent of the size of resin particle.
The experimental data on the reaction rates can be correlated fairly well with the Rideal Kinetics, from which the reaction rate constants and the adsorption equilibrium constants were estimated. The activation energies of ethylation and propylation were as follows.
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The resin catalyst shows a higher activity in propylation than in ethylation. This semms to be due to the higher polarity of propylene such that propylene can easily be protonated from the acid catalyst and diffuse through the resin matrix.