Selective Homologation Routes to 2,2,3-Trimethylbutane on Solid Acids


  • We thank BP for the financial support of this research project. We acknowledge also technical discussions with Dante Simonetti (UC-Berkeley), Glenn Sunley and Sander Gaemers (BP) and Jay Labinger, Nilay Hazari, and John Bercaw (California Institute of Technology).


Sailing the seven ‘C's: 2,2,3-Trimethylbutane (triptane) selectively forms from dimethyl ether at low temperatures on acid zeolites. Selective methylation at less-substituted carbons, relative rates of methylation to hydrogen transfer as a function of chain size, slow skeletal isomerization, and β-scission cracking of triptyl chains and their precursors are intrinsic properties of carbenium ions and account for the remarkable triptane selectivities within C7 .

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