American Chemical Society
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Productivity Enhancement for the Oxidative Coupling of Methane in Adiabatic Layered-Bed Reactors

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-10-15, 11:25 authored by Laura Pirro, Pedro S. F. Mendes, Joris De Keulenaer, Bart D. Vandegehuchte, Guy B. Marin, Joris W. Thybaut
Ethylene production via oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) in adiabatic packed-bed reactors is a promising route within the context of natural gas valorization. However, the high exothermicity of OCM imposes low inlet temperatures and, hence, low space-time yields. Layered-bed reactors are proposed in the present work as a potential alternative to mitigate this issue. In this modeling investigation, a first layer of active Sr/La2O3 catalyst is followed by a second layer of more selective NaMnW/SiO2 catalyst. Optimized bed compositions and operating conditions are shown to lead to up to a 10 times higher space-time yield compared to a single-catalyst bed. The achieved values of ca. 15 molC2+ s–1 mr–3 are comparable to conventional values from steam cracking of ethane, suggesting layered-bed adiabatic configurations as a promising way forward for intensified ethylene production via OCM.