Zr and silicotungstic acid incorporated silicate structured mesoporous catalysts for dimethyl ether synthesis

Orman, Sultan
Due to high consumption rates of petroleum derived fuels and environmental regulations, significant search has been initiated for the development of environmental friendly and efficient fuels, which were derived from more abundant feedstocks. Dimethyl ether (DME), as having a good combustion quality and high cetane number, is an efficient alternative for diesel fuel. With improved combustion quality, the emissions from DME used engines are greatly decreased. DME synthesis can be carried out via two different methods; methanol dehydration on acidic catalysis and syn-gas conversion on bifunctional catalysis. In this study, the aim is to synthesize acidic catalysts using direct hydrothermal synthesis method for DME synthesis as using methanol as feed stock via dehydration and to characterize these materials. The support of the synthesized materials comprises of MCM-41 structure and silicotungstic acid (STA) and metals (Zr / Ni / Cu) were incorporated into the MCM-41 structure during synthesis. Two different techniques were used to extract the surfactant (CTMABr) from catalyst matrix. First one is the conventional calcination technique (at 350°C) and the second is supercritical fluid extraction (at various operating conditions) with methanol modified CO2. The effect of metal loading on extraction performance is analyzed through characterizations of Ni and Cu incorporated materials. In addition, The effect of operation parameters on catalyst properties are also investigated with performing extraction at different pressures for different durations. By changing the type of metal incorporated into the catalyst, the extraction performance is also monitored. The characterization results indicated that, SFE process is also a promising method for surfactant removal. The activities of zirconium added catalysts are tested in methanol dehydration reaction towards DME. It is concluded that the conversion of methanol and selectivity of DME in presence of extracted samples are lower (maximum yield -0.54- obtained at 450°C with sceSZ1) compared to the calcined materials (maximum yield -0.80- obtained at 300°C with cSZ6). This result can also be foreseen by DRIFTS analysis of pyridine adsorbed samples. The acid sites of extracted materials are not as strong as in the calcined catalysts.


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Citation Formats
S. Orman, “Zr and silicotungstic acid incorporated silicate structured mesoporous catalysts for dimethyl ether synthesis,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.