Terephthalic acid synthesis in high-temperature liquid water

Jennifer B. Dunn, Philip E. Savage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We have completed an exploratory study of the synthesis of terephthalic acid via the partial oxidation ofp-xylene in liquid water at temperatures ranging from 250 to 350 °C. The reactions occurred in 1.54 mL stainless steel batch reactors, and the batch holding time was 60 min. We determined the influence of temperature, catalyst identity, p-xylene initial concentration, and oxidant initial coficentration on the yield of terephthalic acid and intermediate products. The catalysts included in this study were manganese bromide, cobalt bromide, manganese acetate, nickel bromide, hafnium bromide, and zirconium bromide. Hydrogen peroxide was the oxidant. The maximum yield of terephthalic acid, 49 ± 8%, occurred at 300 °C with manganese bromide as the catalyst. Other catalysts or catalyst combinations produced lower yields. Yields of terephthalic acid decreased as the oxidant-to-p-xylene ratio decreased, either by increasing the initial concentration of p-xylene or by decreasing the initial concentration of oxidant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4460-4465
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 4 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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