(111e) Oxidative Coupling of Methane Using Novel Catalytic Materials

Ghose, R., Purdue University
Hwang, H. T., Purdue University
Varma, A., Purdue University

Since current processes for ethylene production are based on crude oil, there is interest in developing alternative methods. Towards this end, Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM) is an attractive opportunity. Methane is the main constituent of natural gas (typically > 95%), for which the reserves are estimated to far exceed those of crude oil. In prior studies, low selectivity and yield have prevented development of a practical catalyst. More recently, mixed metal oxides with complex structures (for example, mixed perovskite with general formula AxA’1-xByB’1-yO3) have generated interest[1]. Solution Combustion Synthesis (SCS) is a novel technique developed in our laboratory, which has previously been used for synthesis of such materials [2-4]. Our research focuses on experimental studies of OCM using nanostructured complex metal oxide catalysts synthesized by the SCS technique, involving systematic variation of the metal components and their ratios, and optimization of reaction conditions, including temperature, flow rates and feed composition, with the goal of maximizing selectivity and yield of ethylene.


  1. Kondratenko, V. and Baerns, M., Oxidative coupling of methane, Chapter in Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2008.
  2. Erri, P., Dinka P. and Varma, A., Chem. Eng. Sci. 2006, 61, 5328.
  3. Deshpande, K., Mukasyan, A. and Varma, A., J. Power Sources, 2006, 158, 60.
  4. Erri, P. and Varma A., Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2007, 46, 8597.