Potassium hydroxide impregnated on a γ-alumina support, KOH/Al2O3, was found to be an active catalyst for the base-catalyzed dehydrogenation of cyclic hydrocarbons such as cycloolefins, cycloparaffins and alkyl aromatics. Among reactions studied were the dehydrogenation of cyclohexene, pKa 36, and cyclohexane, pKa 45, to benzene, and ethylbenzene to styrene. The reactions proceeded with high conversions and selectivity at temperatures above 500 °C. Cracking reactions were suppressed and the catalyst was stable to deactivation over long time periods. Comparison of γ-Al2O3 with other common supports showed it was the most effective and selective.
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