Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Two forms and sizes of a suitable apparatus for vapor phase catalytic studies have been built and described. A recirculation device is employed for the conservation of materials;More than twenty catalysts for the vapor phase hydrogenation of furfural to sylvan were tried. The most suitable catalyst was copper chromite, from which near-theoretical yields can be obtained in only a few passages. The only suitable carrier, of those tried, was activated charcoal;The activity of several catalysts for the hydrogenation of sylvan to tetrahydrosylvan has been observed. The yields obtained ranged up to 68%, but a commercially applicable catalyst was not found. Investigations now in progress with partially activated Raney nickel catalysts in the liquid phase may reveal a suitable one (35);Partially activated Raney nickel has been shown to be more efficacious than the completely activated form in the vapor phase hydrogenation of sylvan to tetrahydrosylvan. It is possible that this type of Raney nickel may find more extended applications;The dehydration of tetrahydrosylvan to 1,3-pentadiene was accomplished in yields up to 30% with the four catalysts studied. Dehydration at a greatly reduced pressure in the case of the kaolin catalyst almost doubled the yield, and it is presumed that this refinement may improve the yield of any of the dehydration catalysts;Emulsion polymerization, a method not previously applied to piperylene, has been utilized in producing a satisfactory synthetic rubber sample;This study has shown that furfural, a non-critical and abundant raw material, is potentially an economical source of synthetic rubber. The results of this investigation fully warrant a more complete study with the immediate objective of large-scale utilization of the process.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Llewellyn Wilson Burnette



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68 pages

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Biochemistry Commons