Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 7, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

A novel low-thermal-budget approach for the co-production of ethylene and hydrogen via the electrochemical non-oxidative deprotonation of ethane

Author affiliations

Abstract

The oversupply of ethane, a major component of natural gas liquids, has stimulated the wide applications of ethylene since the shale gas revolution. However, ethylene production is energy-intensive and represents the most energy-consuming single process in the chemical industry. In this communication, we report, for the first time, a novel low-thermal-budget process for the co-production of ethylene and pure hydrogen using a proton-conducting electrochemical deprotonation cell. At a constant current density of 1 A cm−2, corresponding to a hydrogen production rate of 0.448 mol cm−2 per day, and 400 °C, a close to 100% ethylene selectivity was achieved under an electrochemical overpotential of 140 mV. Compared to an industrial ethane steam cracker, the electrochemical deprotonation process can achieve a 65% saving in process energy and reduce the carbon footprint by as much as 72% or even more if renewable electricity and heat are used. If the heating value of produced hydrogen is taken into account, the electrochemical deprotonation process actually has a net gain in processing energy. The electrochemical deprotonation process at reduced temperatures in the present study provides a disruptive approach for petrochemical manufacturing, shifting the paradigm from thermal chemical practice to a clean energy regime.

Graphical abstract: A novel low-thermal-budget approach for the co-production of ethylene and hydrogen via the electrochemical non-oxidative deprotonation of ethane

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
01 Mar 2018
Accepted
28 Mar 2018
First published
28 Mar 2018

Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11, 1710-1716
Article type
Communication
Author version available

A novel low-thermal-budget approach for the co-production of ethylene and hydrogen via the electrochemical non-oxidative deprotonation of ethane

D. Ding, Y. Zhang, W. Wu, D. Chen, M. Liu and T. He, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 1710
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE00645H

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements