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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2018, Volume 12, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11705-018-1709-8

Effect of temperature in the conversion of methanol to olefins (MTO) using an extruded SAPO-34 catalyst

Université de Sherbrooke, Chaire de Recherche Industrielle sur l'Éthanol Cellulosique et les Biocommodities (CRIEC-B), Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, J1L 2Y4

Accepted: 2018-04-26 Available online: 2018-05-09

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The methanol-to-olefin (MTO) reaction was investigated in a bench-scale, fixed-bed reactor using an extruded catalyst composed of a commercial SAPO-34 (65 weight percentage, wt-%) embedded in an amorphous SiO matrix (35 wt-%). The texture properties, acidity and crystal structure of the pure SAPO-34 and its extruded form (E-SAPO-34) were analyzed and results indicated that the extrusion step did not affect the properties of the catalyst. Subsequently, E-SAPO-34 was tested in a temperature range between 300 and 500 °C, using an aqueous methanol mixture (80 wt-% water content) fed at a weight hour space velocity (WHSV) of 1.21 h . At 300 °C, a low conversion was observed combined with catalyst deactivation, which was ascribed to oligomerization and condensation reactions. The coke analysis showed the presence of diamandoid hydrocarbons, which are known to be inactive molecules in the MTO process. At higher temperatures, a quasi-steady state was reached during a 6 h reaction where the optimal temperature was identified at 450 °C, which incidentally led to the lowest coke deposition combined with the highest H/C ratio. Above 450 °C, surges of ethylene and methane were associated to a combination of H-transfer and protolytic cracking reactions. Finally, the present work underscored the convenience of the extrusion technique for testing catalysts at simulated scale-up conditions.

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