Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Redox oxidative cracking of n-hexane with Fe-substituted barium hexaaluminates as redox catalysts

Author affiliations

Abstract

Light olefins such as ethylene and propylene are critical building blocks in the chemical industry and are currently produced mainly from steam cracking of naphtha. However, the highly endothermic nature of steam generation and the cracking reactions make this process highly energy- and CO2-intensive. Coke formation in the steam cracker tubes represents another obstacle. To address these challenges, we proposed a chemical looping approach to convert naphtha into olefins via a redox oxidative cracking (ROC) process. In the present work, Fe-substituted barium hexaaluminates (BaFexAl12−xO19) were investigated as oxygen carriers, or redox catalysts, to convert n-hexane to olefins via ROC. The cyclic redox scheme facilitated by the Fe-substituted hexaaluminates allows autothermal operation and higher olefin yields relative to the endothermic steam-cracking process. While base BaFexAl12−xO19 (x = 1, 2, 3, 4, 6) oxides showed high COx yields (8.4–55.2%) in ROC of n-hexane, 20 wt% Na2WO4 promotion of BaFe6Al6O19 (20-NaW/BaFe6) significantly inhibited COx formation (0.6–1.2% COx yield) while oxidizing all the H2 produced during cracking within a temperature range of 600–700 °C and GHSV of 9000 h−1. Benefiting from the donation of selective lattice oxygen, 20-NaW/BaFe6 more than doubled the olefin yield when compared to that from thermal cracking (26.0% vs. 12.8%). Moreover, decreasing the GHSV from 9000 h−1 to 2250 h−1 resulted in 8.5% increase in n-hexane conversion on an absolute basis, while maintaining nearly the same olefin selectivity. Long-term stability of the 20-NaW/BaFe6 oxygen carrier was also demonstrated within 30 cycles at 700 °C and 2250 h−1, achieving an olefin yield in the range of 31.3–32.4% and low COx yield of 0.6–0.7%. XPS analysis of cycled BaFe6 revealed a shift towards near-surface Ba enrichment upon redox cycling. In comparison, both as-prepared and cycled 20-NaW/BaFe6 showed suppression of near surface Ba content, indicating that Na2WO4 inhibited the migration of Ba into the near-surface region during n-hexane ROC and effectively suppressed non-selective oxidation reactions.

Graphical abstract: Redox oxidative cracking of n-hexane with Fe-substituted barium hexaaluminates as redox catalysts

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 18 Dec 2018, accepted on 01 Apr 2019 and first published on 02 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CY02530D
Citation: Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, Advance Article

  •   Request permissions

    Redox oxidative cracking of n-hexane with Fe-substituted barium hexaaluminates as redox catalysts

    X. Tian, R. B. Dudek, Y. Gao, H. Zhao and F. Li, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CY02530D

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements