C1-C4 VALORIZATION IN MEMBRANE REACTORS
Light olefins (propylene and butadiene) and aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylene, known as BTX) are considered as main building blocks in the petrochemical industry, is the feedstock for the production of polymers, commodities and speciality chemicals for daily use.
They were traditionally produced as a by-product in fluid catalytic cracking and steam cracking, but the low selectivity towards the desired olefins and aromatics, in contrast with their continuous growing demand, together with the rising in oil price, is driving the petrochemical industry to find alternative and more attractive solutions for their production. In this contest, C1 to C4 light hydrocarbons emerge as promising raw materials for the production of the corresponding olefins and BTX, through alternative on-purpose technologies, which are the direct dehydrogenation of propane and butane, and the direct aromatization of propane. The BIZEOLCAT project is focused on the improvement of these processes, involving innovative catalysts synthesis methodologies and novel reactor design.
In fact, as a common feature of direct dehydrogenation and aromatization processes, reactions are highly endothermic, requiring high operating temperatures (550-600 °C) and low pressures (0.5-2 bar) to reach a quite high conversion; at these severe conditions, cracking side reactions are favoured, leading to coke formation and consequent catalyst deactivation, making the design of the reactor very challenging.
Existing industrial processes are indeed characterized by very low performance. An optimization possibility to improve those processes is represented by the membrane reactor technology, allowing the combination of reaction and separation in a single unit. In this way, it is possible to perform the dehydrogenation reaction, continuously removing hydrogen as a by-product to shift the thermodynamic equilibrium towards the desired products.
In particular, a fluidized bed membrane reactor, with Pd-based membranes for hydrogen separation, interconnected with a unit for the catalyst regeneration, resulting to be the main source of heat for the reaction itself, will be designed within the BIZEOLCAT project and included in the existing industrial processes under investigation.
Bifunctional Zeolite based Catalysts and Innovative process for Sustainable Hydrocarbon Transformation
Stay tuned! On 17th November 2020 h 12:30 Aitor Gual Gozalbo from Eurecat – Technology Centre of Catalonia will present Bizeolcat Project at the UNPRECEDENTEDVirtualForum organized by Fira Barcelona within SemanaDeLaCiencia 2020.
Bizeolcat will take part in the Tech Transfer Forum that aims to present innovative projects connecting companies with research groups and project funders.
The protagonists sectors are Sustainable construction, Food, Energy, Mobility since they make up the priority sectors of the Circular Economy Action Plan. All the projects are in an advanced phase so that companies, scientists and the community can carry out transfer.
International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE26)-5th-8th December 2021
Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India) organises 26th International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering to be held from 5-8 December 2021. It covers various areas of Chemistry including Fundamentals of Novel reactors & process intensification, Catalysis & catalytic reactors, Clean & sustainable energy, Advanced materials, Clean & sustainable environment (air, water, soil), Nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and health care, Product engineering & industrial frontiers.
Our partner National Institute of Chemistry (Slovenia) represented by Matej HUŠ, Drejc KOPAČ, Blaž LIKOZAR, presented a poster titled: Propane dehydrogenation on Cr2O3: kinetics and mechanism of the reaction and catalyst deactivation. Industrially, propane dehydrogenation proceeds on chromium oxide supported on alumina (the Catofin® process), avoiding the use of critical or expensive raw materials (noble metals, rare-earth elements etc.). Although understood empirically, the reaction mechanism, kinetics and especially the nature of catalyst deactivation lack a clear theoretical explanation.
In this work, we devise a full reaction network of non-oxidative propane dehydrogenation on Cr2O3(0001) using first-principles methods. The complete abstract is available at Bizeolcat website – Presentation