Alkanes Dehydrogenation



Alkenes (olefins) production by the catalytic dehydrogenation of light alkanes (paraffins) is an alternative to conventional heavy hydrocarbons cracking. Alkenes are important intermediate materials for a variety of applications and the catalytic alkanes dehydrogenation allows for their production from low-cost feedstocks, such as natural gas. The dehydrogenation is endothermic in nature and limited by the thermodynamic equilibrium, therefore, it is performed at elevated temperatures. However, operation at high temperatures results in side reactions (e.g., thermal cracking) and catalyst deactivation due to the carbon deposition (coking). Consequently, the catalytic membrane reactor concept is a logical choice for improvement and the dehydrogenation process performance. Hydrogen can be continuously separated by a hydrogen perm-selective membrane, increasing the conversion due to the shift of the equilibrium toward the alkene production. This in turn will allow operation at lower temperatures, preventing thermal cracking reactions, and coking. In addition, hydrogen, which is a valuable by-product, is generated. Design and optimization of dehydrogenation processes requires a choice of membrane, catalysts, thermal regimes, flow regime, and other issues that are discussed below. Pd–Ag-supported membranes are very selective and can be purchased off-the-shelf, their cost may still be prohibitive. The catalysts employed are those used in regular DH processes; there is a need for catalysts that show high activity and stability at low hydrogen pressures. New ideas are required in order to develop a reliable thermally independent process.


Membrane Reactor Pressure Swing Adsorption Fluid Catalytic Crack Propane Conversion Zeolite Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TechnionTechnion CityIsrael

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