(64a) Oxidative Coupling Methane Enhanced By Distribution of Oxygen through Porous Medium

Kim, G. J., University of Kentucky
Hwang, H. T., University of Kentucky
Recently, technologies for converting methane into more valuable chemicals are fast emerging due to a large amount of global natural gas reserve along with rapid depletion of fossil fuel. Among the technologies, Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM) is attractive since it produces valuable ethylene, a precursor to many industrially important chemicals. One of the major problems in OCM is the decrease of C2+ selectivity with methane conversion because CH4 and O2 are thermodynamically favored to proceed to full oxidative conversion to form CO or CO2. In addition, the temperature rises by the exothermic reaction further result in the high driving force to full oxidation. In this context, it is important to develop new processes to minimize deep oxidation of CH4 while improving thermal management. To confirm the performance of OCM in a membrane reactor, in the present work, a process where methane flows over the catalyst while oxygen is distributed over the catalyst bed through a porous filter was investigated. It was found that both C2+ selectivity and yield were improved by distributing oxygen through the filter, as compared to those for a packed bed reactor. Finally, operating conditions including temperature, feed ratio, and flow rate were optimized to maximize C2+ yield.