Methane activation via integrated Membrane Reactors – project results

The results of our MEMERE project show novel membranes and catalysts reduce greenhouse gas emissions in chemical industry

The production of ethylene (C2H4) is one of the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitting industries in Europe. We have worked with EU-funded researchers to develop a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly process that produces higher yields than current technologies allow.

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New paper on the stability of Na-Mn-W/SiO2 catalyst for the OCM has now been accepted at the Faraday Discussions!

A new paper by our former PhD student Dorota Matras and partners from MEMERE project has been accepted in the Faraday Discussions.

In this study, we investigate the effect of thermal treatment/calcination on the stability and activity of a Na-Mn-W/SiO2 catalyst for the oxidative coupling of methane reaction. The catalyst performance and characterisation measurements suggest that the W species are directly involved in the catalyst active site responsible for CH4 conversion. Under operating conditions, the active components, present in the form of Na-W-O-Mn molten state, are highly mobile and volatile. By varying the parameters of the calcination protocol, it was shown that these molten components can be partially stabilised, resulting in a catalyst with lower activity (due to loss of surface area) but higher stability even for long duration OCM reaction experiments.

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Operando and Postreaction Diffraction Imaging of the La–Sr/CaO Catalyst in the Oxidative Coupling of Methane Reaction

Operando and Postreaction Diffraction Imaging figureOur paper on Operando and Postreaction Diffraction Imaging of the La–Sr/CaO Catalyst in the Oxidative Coupling of Methane Reaction has been published online by The Journal of Physical Chemistry.

A La–Sr/CaO catalyst was studied operando during the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) reaction using the X-ray diffraction computed tomography technique. Full-pattern Rietveld analysis was performed in order to track the evolving solid-state chemistry during the temperature ramp, OCM reaction, as well as after cooling to room temperature. We observed a uniform distribution of the catalyst main components: La2O3, CaO–SrO mixed oxide, and the high-temperature rhombohedral polymorph of SrCO3. These were stable initially in the reaction; however, doubling the gas hourly space velocity resulted in the decomposition of SrCO3 to SrO, which subsequently led to the formation of a second CaO–SrO mixed oxide. These two mixed CaO–SrO oxides differed in terms of the extent of Sr incorporation into their unit cell. By applying Vegard’s law during the Rietveld refinement, it was possible to create maps showing the spatial variation of Sr occupancy in the mixed CaO–SrO oxides. The formation of the Sr-doped CaO species is expected to have an important role in this system through the enhancement of the lattice oxygen diffusion as well as increased catalyst basicity.

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