University of Twente Student Theses


Birch-type reduction of anthracene by field emission of electrons in microreactors

Veldscholte, Lars (2017) Birch-type reduction of anthracene by field emission of electrons in microreactors.

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Abstract:A microreactor system for performing the Birch-type reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), of which anthracene is used as a model compound, is investigated. The microreactor contains two electrodes separated by a microfluidic channel. The cathode is a silicon nanowire (SiNW) field emitter array for generating solvated electrons in the solution flowing through the channel, which are used for the reduction of anthracene. Experiments were performed in order to investigate the formation of various side products with different solvents and anode materials. No consistent conversion towards the desired product (9,10-dihydroanthracene) was observed, presumably because of a malformation of the field emitter array. Many different side products were detected. Indirect evidence for the role of the alcohol (used as solvent / proton donor) as reducing agent was obtained. It was demonstrated that tert-butanol in acetone as solvent can still produce side products. One experiment with a microreactor chip with indium tin oxide (ITO) anode resulted in production of side products, however, the other experiments with ITO chips resulted in no products at all. The fact that side products still form in a chip with ITO anode suggests that the hypothesis about the formation of these side products is incorrect.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:35 chemistry
Programme:Chemical Engineering BSc (56960)
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