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Co-conversion of methanol and n-hexane into aromatics using intergrown ZSM-5/ZSM-11 as a catalyst

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The conversion of n-hexane and methanol into value-added aromatic compounds is a promising method for their industrially relevant utilization. In this study, intergrown ZSM-5/ZSM-11 crystals were synthesized and their resulting catalytic performance was investigated and compared to those of the isolated ZSM-5 and ZSM-11 zeolites. The physicochemical properties of ZSM-5/ZSM-11 intergrown zeolite were analyzed using X-ray diffraction, N2 isothermal adsorption-desorption, the temperature-programmed desorption of ammonium, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectra of adsorbed pyridine, and nuclear magnetic resonance of 27Al, and compared with those of the ZSM-5 and ZSM-11 zeolites. The catalytic performances of the materials were evaluated during the co-feeding reaction of methanol and n-hexane under the fixed bed conditions of 400°C, 0.5 MPa (N2), methanol:n-hexane = 7:3 (mass ratio), and weight hourly space velocity = 1 h−1 (methanol). Compared to the ZSM-5 and ZSM-11 zeolites, the ZSM-5/ZSM-11 zeolite exhibited the largest specific surface area, a unique crystal structure, moderate acidity, and suitable Brønsted/Lewis acid ratio. The evaluation results showed that ZSM-5/ZSM-11 catalyst exhibited better catalytic reactivity than the ZSM-5 and ZSM-11 catalysts in terms of methanol conversion rate, n-hexane conversion rate, and aromatic selectivity. The outstanding catalytic property of the intergrown ZSM-5/ZSM-11 was attributed to the enhanced diffusion associated with its unique crystal structure. The benefit of using zeolite intergrowth in the co-conversion of methanol and alkanes offers a novel route for future catalyst development.

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We gratefully acknowledge funding from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2177606) and Technology administration of the Department of PetroChina Company Limited (2016-24308).

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Correspondence to Yarong Xu or Xuedong Zhu.

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Wei, S., Xu, Y., Jin, Z. et al. Co-conversion of methanol and n-hexane into aromatics using intergrown ZSM-5/ZSM-11 as a catalyst. Front. Chem. Sci. Eng. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-019-1868-2

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  • ZSM-5/ZSM-11
  • methanol
  • n-hexane
  • cofeeding
  • aromatics