Methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion over MoO3/H-ZSM-5 catalysts prepared via lower temperature calcination: a route to tailor the distribution and evolution of promoter Mo species, and their corresponding catalytic properties†
A series of MoO3/H-ZSM-5 (Si/Al = 25) catalysts were prepared via calcination at a lower-than-usual temperature (400 °C) and subsequently evaluated in the methanol-to-hydrocarbon reaction at that same temperature. The catalytic properties of those catalysts were compared with the sample prepared at the more conventional, higher temperature of 500 °C. For the lower temperature preparations, molybdenum oxide was preferentially dispersed over the zeolite external surface, while only the higher loading level of MoO3 (7.5 wt% or higher) led to observable inner migration of the Mo species into the zeolite channels, with concomitant partial loss of the zeolite Brønsted acidity. On the MoO3 modified samples, the early-period gas yield, especially for valuable propylene and C4 products, was noticeably accelerated, and is gradually converted into an enhanced liquid aromatic formation. The 7.5 wt% MoO3/H-ZSM-5 sample prepared at 400 °C thereby achieved a balance between the zeolite surface dispersion of Mo species, their inner channel migration and the corresponding effect on the intrinsic Brønsted acidity of the acidic zeolite. That loading level also possessed the highest product selectivity (after 5 h reaction) to benzene, toluene and xylenes, as well as higher early-time valuable gas product yields in time-on-stream experiments. However, MoO3 loading levels of 7.5 wt% and above also resulted in earlier catalyst deactivation by enhanced coke accumulation at, or near, the zeolite channel openings. Our research illustrates that the careful adoption of moderate/lower temperature dispersion processes for zeolite catalyst modification gives considerable potential for tailoring and optimizing the system's catalytic performance.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Global Energy Challenges: Fossil Fuels