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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 406939, 6 pages
Research Article

Hydrogenation of Styrene Oxide to 2-Phenylethanol over Nanocrystalline Ni Prepared by Ethylene Glycol Reduction Method

1IPCA Laboratories Ltd., Indore 452003, India
2School of Chemical Sciences, DA University, Indore 452001, India
3Magnetic Materials Laboratory, School of Physics, DA University, Indore 452001, India

Received 14 February 2014; Accepted 20 May 2014; Published 17 July 2014

Academic Editor: Moshe Sheintuch

Copyright © 2014 Sunil K. Kanojiya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanocrystalline nickel prepared by glycol reduction method and characterized by XRD and magnetic measurements has been used as a catalyst for hydrogenation of styrene oxide to 2-phenylethanol. Effect of process variables such as particle size of the catalyst, temperature, and pressure have been optimized to achieve a maximum conversion of 98% of styrene oxide with 99% selectivity towards 2-phenylethanol. The structure of the transition state has been computed employing density functional theory and using Gaussian 09 suite. The enthalpy of reaction (ΔH) and activation energy () are calculated to be 85.3 kcal·mol−1 and 123.03 kcal·mol−1, respectively. A tentative mechanism for the reaction is proposed according to which atomized hydrogen and styrene oxide react together over the catalyst surface to produce 2-phenylethanol.