Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type



Chemistry & Physics

First Advisor

Kyle Strode

Second Advisor

Ron Wilde

Third Advisor

Mark Parker


Experimentation into the dehydration reaction of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) to 2-methyl-1,3-butadiene (isoprene) sought to utilize the Fast Isoprene System (FIS) for MBO eddy covariance flux measurements. It was hypothesized that a catalytic converter could be engineered with the following properties: full conversion of MBO to isoprene in real time, with no loss or retention, and with a 2 L/min flow rate. Acidic alumina was selected as a catalyst with adequate conversion and flow rate throughput. The full conversion of MBO to isoprene was achieved using a 60mg acidic alumina catalytic converter at a 3.69 sLpm throughput. However, there was 40% sample loss due to either retention of MBO, or the conversion of MBO to products other than isoprene. Finally, a catalytic converter switching box was also engineered to switch the inlet between streams bypassing the converter and streams going through the converter.