(104d) Carbon Membrane Reactor for Alkane Dehydrogenation | AIChE

(104d) Carbon Membrane Reactor for Alkane Dehydrogenation


Liu, D. - Presenter, University of Delaware
Liu, L., University of Maryland
Bhowmick, A., University of Maryland
Zhang, C., University of Maryland
Ierapetritou, M., University of Delaware
Non-oxidative alkane dehydrogenation is an important technology for on-purpose production of alkene and hydrogen (H2), commonly used as building blocks in the chemical industry. The reaction, however, faces three major challenges: the single-pass conversion is limited by thermodynamics, the catalyst deactivates quickly through sintering and/or coking, and the process heat from fossil fuel firing produces copious CO2 emissions. In this talk, we present our recent work on carbon membrane reactor that integrate a carbon molecular sieve membrane and a zeolite supported metal catalyst to achieve high alkane conversion, high catalyst stability and low CO2 emissions. These effects originate from lowering reaction temperature by using catalysts with low threshold temperature and up-shifting reaction equilibrium far beyond thermodynamic limit by H2-permeable carbon membrane. Using propane (C3H8) dehydrogenation as an example, the membrane reactor enables ~37% C3H8 single-pass conversion (3-fold higher than equilibrium conversion) and >95% C3H6 selectivity at 450°C (i.e., ~150°C lower than typical commercial condition), and ~20% reduction in CO2 emissions. Further, we demonstrate that the technology applies to ethane dehydrogenation, establishing a new paradigm toward electrified green and sustainable chemical manufacturing.