Valorisation of alkanes and alkynes by transhydrogenation in petrochemical processes

Garba, Mustapha Danlami (2017) Valorisation of alkanes and alkynes by transhydrogenation in petrochemical processes. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The production of high premium fuel is an issue of priority to every refinery. The trans-hydrogenation process was devised to convert two low value refinery cracked products to premium products; the conversion processes involve the combination of dehydrogenation and hydrogenation reactions as a single step process. The low value refinery products (i.e. alkanes and alkynes or alkadienes) have been converted to alkenes (olefins) by trans-hydrogenation using catalysts system based on VOx, CrOx and Pt all supported on alumina. Although trans-hydrogenation has been disclosed in many patents over decades, only little academic literature is available. The success of the process over various catalysts has been claimed in many of these patents. However, further studies are still required to ascertain the actual reaction mechanism, mitigating carbon deposition and catalyst deactivation, and the role of different catalysts to optimize the reaction desired products. The current research work evaluates the potential of CrOx/Al2O3, K-CrOx/Al2O3, Pt/Al2O3 and K-Pt/Al2O3 to investigate the trans-hydrogenation of the pentane (P)/1-hexyne (1HY) system, the pentane (P)/1,5-hexadiene (1,5-HD) system and the pentane (P)/2,4-Hexadiene (2,4-HD) system over a range temperatures (523-773 K).

The fresh catalysts were first characterised by N2 adsorption using the BET method, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric analysis, Temperature programme oxidation (TPO), Temperature programmed reduction (TPR), Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and colorimetric analysis.
The Free energy (ΔG) for the reaction of pentane with 1-hexyne, 1,5-hexadiene and 2,4-hexadiene shows that trans-hydrogenation is thermodynamically favoured at most temperatures for the reaction of pentane with 1-hexyne, however this is not always the case when hexadienes are the hydrogen acceptors. When 2,4-HD is the acceptor, ΔG is +ve at all the reaction temperatures tested. When pentane or hexyne/hexadiene or a 5:1 mixture was passed over the catalyst, in the temperature range of 523K -773 K, it was found that trans-hydrogenation process had taken place but many of the products are alkylated olefinic and alkylated hydrocarbons. Regarding all systems previously mentioned above, the ratio of olefin to alkylated olefin products was ~50:50 at 773K, however, this ratio was found to vary at other temperatures. The lowest ratio of ~10:90 was obtained at 523K. Dissociation of the hydrocarbon reactant was also observed leading to production of cracked products such as CH4, C2H4 and subsequent formation of a carbonaceous overlayer on the catalyst surface. This was not the case with the 2,4-hexadiene reactant, the trans-hydrogenation is poor, as expected from the free energies.

The trans-hydrogenation process was shown to improve the conversion of pentane when co-fed with the hexyne to ~26% and to ~90% when co-fed with 1,5HD using the chromia catalyst at 773K, both values are much higher than the equilibrium conversion of the pentane dehydrogenation. Higher conversions of the pentane were subsequently obtained with other catalysts, but the chromia/alumina and K-CrOx/Al2O3 catalyst exhibits greater trans-hydrogenation activity. With the 2,4HD acceptor, very low conversions of pentane were obtained with all the catalysts: in general conversions lower than when the pentane was run alone were obtained.

The products observed were unique for each catalyst. However, it was observed that for each catalyst, only the distribution of the products changed with temperature. This also accounted for changes in both the cracking products and the carbon laydown on the catalyst.
The deactivation regeneration cycles shows very similar conversion of both reactants. There is a small deactivation observed for the longer time run; however these were not very significant. It was observed that some of the major products were consumed with time, but are used for the formation of other major products. However, this is more prominent with pentane/hexyne run using the CrOx/Al2O3 catalyst.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Hydrocarbon, trans-hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, hydrogenation, catalyst regeneration, carbon deposition, catalysis.
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Funder's Name: Petroleum Technology Development fund (PTDF), Nigeria
Supervisor's Name: Samuel, Prof. David Jackson
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Mr Mustapha Danlami Garba
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8719
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 11:16
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2018 09:31
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