A Comparative Study of n-Butane Isomerization over H-Beta and H-ZSM-5 Zeolites at Low Temperatures: Effects of Acid Properties and Pore Structures

  • Wenfang Zhang
  • Pengzhao Wang
  • Chaohe Yang
  • Chunyi LiEmail author


The influences of acidic properties and pore structures of H-Beta and H-ZSM-5 zeolites on the reaction properties of n-butane isomerization at low temperatures were investigated. The results showed that bimolecular pathway of n-butane conversion predominates over H-ZSM-5 zeolites, while the monomolecular and bimolecular pathways occur simultaneously over H-Beta zeolites. The conversion rate of n-butane strongly relies on the amount of strong Brønsted acid sites regardless of zeolite topology. However, the topology of zeolites crucially determines the products distribution, and the density of strong Brønsted acid sites plays a secondary role. The cavities of zeolites, formed in the intersections of channels, provide the places for the bimolecular reaction. The formation of trimethyl C8 intermediates is spatially restricted in the narrow channel intersections of H-ZSM-5 zeolites, resulting in higher contribution of n-butane disproportionation reaction. In addition, the narrow pore channels of H-ZSM-5 zeolite limit the monomolecular isomerization of n-butane molecules and affect the diffusion of heavier products (pentane) produced from bimolecular reaction, leading to the severe secondary reaction and high selectivity to propane. In contrast, the pore channels of H-Beta zeolite allow the monomolecular isomerization of n-butane and the deposition of coke.

Graphical Abstract

The topology of zeolites crucially determines the products distribution.


Zeolites Acidity Topology n-Butane isomerization 



This work was financially supported by China University of Petroleum for Postgraduate Technology Innovation Project (YCX2018036).

Supplementary material

10562_2019_2683_MOESM1_ESM.docx (766 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 766 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenfang Zhang
    • 1
  • Pengzhao Wang
    • 2
  • Chaohe Yang
    • 1
  • Chunyi Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil ProcessingChina University of Petroleum (East China)QingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.National Engineering Research Center of Chemical Fertilizer CatalystFuzhou UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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