Dimethyl Ether (DME) synthesis using mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalytic materials

Demir, Hakan
In 21st century, researchers make great effort of finding a clean transportation fuel to diminish the severe effects of conventional transportation fuel combustion such as global warming and air pollution. Dimethyl ether is considered as a strong fuel alternative due to its good burning characteristics and environmentally friendly properties. In order to produce dimethyl ether, different synthesis routes and solid acid catalysts are being utilized. SAPO-34 is an aluminophosphate based catalyst having moderate acidity. This property makes it a good candidate for the synthesis of dimethyl ether. However, SAPO-34 has microporous structure causing diffusion limitations. The objective of this study is to synthesize, characterize mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalytic materials and test the activity of them in methanol dehydration reaction. The benefit of obtaining mesoporous structure is that the diffusion limitations can be eliminated. Mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalysts were synthesized through hydrothermal synthesis route. BET surface areas of these catalysts were 117-133 m2/g. All methanol dehydration reactions were carried out at a space time of 0.14 s.g/cm3. By using mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalysts, the highest methanol conversion was 48% obtained at 550°C with DME selectivity and yield values of 1 and 0.49, respectively. Since utilizing microporous SAPO-34 catalyst gave higher methanol conversion, 67%, at lower temperature, 250°C, with dimethyl ether selectivity of around 1, mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalysts are not suitable for this reaction.
Citation Formats
H. Demir, “Dimethyl Ether (DME) synthesis using mesoporous SAPO-34 like catalytic materials,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.