(430b) Microwave-Assisted Methane Conversion on High Microwave-Sensitive Catalysts
This research discovered that due to the microwave irradiation, the reaction pathway has been changed, and the coking mechanism is different. Microwave facilitates methane C-H bond activation on catalyst surface and hence improves the production of C2 products (ethane and ethylene). With presence of microwave and high hydrogen concentration from CH4 activation, heavy hydrocarbons (i.e. aromatics, poly-olefinic coke, etc.) exhibit hydrogenolysis leading to the formation of methane. According to Le Chatelierâs principle, this hydrogenolysis will further favors C2 production. Therefore, high C2 selectivity was observed, and only graphite-like coke was detected. This observation indicates the reaction pathways and coking mechanism of microwave-assisted methane conversion are different with that of direct methane conversion in a thermally heated fixed-bed reactor.
In conclusion, this study demonstrates a novel direct methane conversion process under microwave irradiation with high methane conversion and low catalyst deactivation. Specifically, this research provides an in-depth analysis of the microwave-involved reaction mechanism of direct methane conversion on high microwave-sensitive catalysts. By applying microwave-sensitive catalysts, the energy requirement can be lowered, and better reaction stability can be achieved.