Alan Liu Rose Hills
Probing the Kinetics and Mechanism of Acetalization of Ketones and Aldehydes with Various Diols and Heterogeneous Acid Catalysts
The use of fossil fuels to produce fuels is leading to an increase in changes of global climate due to the large amount of carbon dioxide released. Fossil reserves are also becoming scarcer, so alternative energy sources such as those from biomass derived alcohols are becoming more important. It is known that some biomass derived alcohols, such as glycerol, can react with aldehydes and ketones to form acetals and ketals that are possible useful fuel additives. My research project will focus on probing the kinetics and mechanisms of the liquid phase reaction of diols with ketones/aldehydes in the presence of various heterogeneous acid catalysts. I will first do a literature review of what is currently known about these reactions. Then, I will perform trails of different times of reaction and temperatures (between 80C and 120C) of reaction, as well as a variety of reactants and acid catalysts to see how these factors affect the rate (kinetics) of these reactions. I also aim to produce a concrete mechanism of reaction.