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Mechanism and Kinetics of Propane Dehydrogenation and Cracking over Ga/H-MFI Prepared via Vapor-Phase Exchange of H‑MFI with GaCl3

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journal contribution
posted on 26.12.2018, 00:00 by Neelay M. Phadke, Erum Mansoor, Matthieu Bondil, Martin Head-Gordon, Alexis T. Bell
In this study, the mechanism and kinetics of C3H8 dehydrogenation and cracking are examined over Ga/H-MFI catalysts prepared via vapor-phase exchange of H-MFI with GaCl3. The present study demonstrates that [GaH]2+ cations are the active centers for C3H8 dehydrogenation and cracking, independent of the Ga/Al ratio. For identical reaction conditions, [GaH]2+ cations in Ga/H-MFI exhibit a turnover frequency for C3H8 dehydrogenation that is 2 orders of magnitude higher and for C3H8 cracking, that is 1 order of magnitude higher than the corresponding turnover frequencies over H-MFI. C3H8 dehydrogenation and cracking exhibit first-order kinetics with respect to C3H8 over H-MFI, but both reactions exhibit first-order kinetics over Ga/H-MFI only at very low C3H8 partial pressures and zero-order kinetics at higher C3H8 partial pressures. H2 inhibits both reactions over Ga/H-MFI. It is also found that the ratio of the rate of dehydrogenation to the rate of cracking over Ga/H-MFI is independent of C3H8 and H2 partial pressures but weakly dependent on temperature. Measured activation enthalpies together with theoretical analysis are consistent with a mechanism in which both the dehydrogenation and cracking of C3H8 proceed over Ga/H-MFI via reversible, heterolytic dissociation of C3H8 at [GaH]2+ sites to form [C3H7-GaH]+-H+ cation pairs. The rate-determining step for dehydrogenation is the β-hydride elimination of C3H6 and H2 from the C3H7 fragment. The rate-determining step for cracking is C–C bond attack of the same propyl fragment by the proximal Brønsted acid O–H group. H2 inhibits both dehydrogenation and cracking over Ga/H-MFI via reaction with [GaH]2+ cations to form [GaH2]+-H+ cation pairs.