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The research project is studying the reaction of benzene to produce toluene and xylene is very useful as both of these products have great commercial value. The challenge that is being researched is to make this reaction more efficient by minimizing the sub-reactions that happen simultaneously, specifically the reaction of methanol to olefins. These sub-reactions tend to interfere with the main reaction and cause less of an output of the desired product. In order to minimize these reactions, Zeolites (which are porous minerals that can be taken from nature or synthesized artificially and act at a catalyst for certain reactions) will be manipulated to control the reaction. The varying aspect will be the acidity of the surface of the Zeolite that will inhibit the methanol from reacting into olefins.
Engineering - chemical / biological
Globalink Research Award
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