Catalysis in a Pocket: The MCM-22 Story

2013 Spring Symposium

2012 Ciapetta Award Lecture

Thomas F. Deg­nan, Jr.
Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pa­ny
Annan­dale, NJ 08801

Abstract — MCM-22 (MTW) is among a unique class of mul­ti­di­men­sion­al pore shape selec­tive zeo­lites where­in the prin­ci­pal locus for catal­y­sis is in 12 mem­ber ring (12-MR) sur­face pock­ets. The zeo­lite con­tains two inde­pen­dent pore sys­tems, both of which are accessed through rings com­prised of ten tetra­he­dral (T) atoms (such as Si, Al, and B). One of these pore sys­tems is defined by two-dimen­sion­al, sinu­soidal chan­nels and the oth­er is defined by large 12-MR supercages with an inner free diam­e­ter of 0.71 nm and a height of 1.82 nm. Vir­tu­al­ly all acid cat­alyzed reac­tions take place in pock­ets formed from the sur­face ter­mi­na­tion of the 1.82 nm high and 0.71 nm diam­e­ter supercages. The zeo­lite has been eval­u­at­ed and found promis­ing for a num­ber of acid-cat­alyzed reac­tions. Most impor­tant­ly, it has been found to be unusu­al­ly selec­tive for aro­mat­ic alky­la­tion in the pres­ence of a wide range of olefins under liq­uid phase con­di­tions. This pre­sen­ta­tion will describe the dis­cov­ery, devel­op­ment and com­mer­cial deploy­ment of this zeo­lite that is used wide­ly in sev­er­al aro­mat­ic alky­la­tion process­es.

Thomas F. Degnan

Thomas F. Deg­nan

Biog­ra­phy — Tom received his B.S. in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame, a Ph.D. in the same dis­ci­pline from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware, and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta. He spent four years in 3M’s Cen­tral Research orga­ni­za­tion in St. Paul, MN before mov­ing to Mobil Research and Devel­op­ment in 1980.

Tom has spent most of his career in explorato­ry process devel­op­ment, catal­y­sis, cat­a­lyst devel­op­ment, and research man­age­ment work­ing for Mobil and now Exxon­Mo­bil Research and Engi­neer­ing Com­pa­ny. He is present­ly Man­ag­er, New Leads Gen­er­a­tion and Break­through Tech­nolo­gies and is locat­ed at ExxonMobil’s Clin­ton, NJ facil­i­ty.

He is a mem­ber of the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers, the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety and the Research and Devel­op­ment Coun­cil of New Jer­sey.