High-precision diffusion measurement of ethane and propane over SAPO-34 zeolites for methanol-to-olefin process

Research Article


The methanol-to-olefin (MTO) process has attracted much attention and many problems including lifetime and selectivity of light olefins have all been connected to the diffusion problems in zeolite crystals. However, a quantitative study of diffusion problems in SAPO-34 zeolites is lacking. In this paper, we performed a high-precision diffusion measurement of the diffusion behavior of ethane and propane, which represent ethylene and propylene respectively, over SAPO-34. The diffusions of ethane and propane over fresh and coked SAPO-34 zeolites with different crystal sizes were carefully studied. Ethane and propane show different diffusion behavior in SAPO-34. The diffusion of ethane is almost not influenced by the crystal size and coke percentage, whereas that of propane is strongly affected. A slower diffusion velocity was observed in bigger crystals, and the diffusion velocity decline significantly with the coke percentage increasing. The diffusion coefficient was calculated with both the internal and surface diffusion models, and the results show that the surface diffusion plays a key role in the diffusion process of both ethane and propane. We believe that this work would be helpful for understanding the diffusion of different molecules in SAPO-34 zeolites, and may lay the foundation of MTO research.


diffusion measurement methanol-to-olefin process 


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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