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Catalytic oxidation of ethylbenzene: kinetic modeling, mechanism, and implications

Ashish P. Unnarkat, Jaimish Sonani, Jay Baldha, Shivani Agarwal, Kevin Manvar, Ali Reza Faraji, and Mohammad Arshadi

Chemical Engineering Department, School of Technology, Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Raisan, Gandhinagar, India



Received: 17 May 2021  Accepted: 5 October 2021


A detailed reaction mechanism and kinetic model have been developed to study the catalyzed oxidation of ethylbenzene. The model is used to compute the time profiles of ethylbenzene and three products: acetophenone, benzaldehyde, and benzoic acid. The kinetic model is evaluated on three different reported studies for ethylbenzene oxidation with iron- and cobalt-based catalysts using tert-butyl hydrogen peroxide as an oxygen source, in solventless condition and at various experimental conditions. The model shows good fit for the concentration profiles with time and with the change in parameters like ethylbenzene-to-tBHP ratio and temperature. Activation energy and pre-exponential factors are calculated from Arrhenius plots using the values of rate constants derived using the proposed model. It was established that the excess amount of oxidant in the reaction mixture leads to over-oxidation products, which was not captured experimentally. The hypothesis is supported with the simulation results from modified model.

Keywords: Ethylbenzene oxidation; Mechanism; Kinetic model; Activation energy

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01920-4


Chemical Papers 76 (2) 995–1008 (2022)

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