New strategy enhances aromatics selectivity in methane conversion

New strategy enhances aromatics selectivity in methane conversion
Highly enhanced aromatics selectivity by coupling of chloromethane and carbon monoxide over H-ZSM-5. Credit: Fang Xudong

Methane, the main constituent in shale gas and flammable ice, is expected to replace petroleum to produce high value-added chemicals such as aromatics.

Methane is relatively highly inert, which is caused by the high C-H bond strength and supersymmetric structure and hinders its applications.

Recently, a research team led by Prof. Liu Zhongmin and Prof. Zhu Wenliang from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) developed a strategy for the transformation of methane into aromatics by coupling of CH3Cl with CO over H-zeolites.

This study was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition on Feb. 1.

The researchers used H-ZSM-5 as catalysts to achieve high aromatics selectivity as well as high selectivity of benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX).

They found that the selectivity to aromatics increased from 39.0% to 79.3% after introducing CO, and the corresponding BTX selectivity increased from 17.7% to 48.0% at 2.0 MPa, 673 K. After optimizing , the aromatics selectivity reached as high as 82.2%, and BTX selectivity as high as 59.3%.

Moreover, they discovered that 2,3-dimethyl-2-cyclopentene-1-one (DMCPO) was generated from acetyl groups and olefins. And CO was proven to be inserted into the DMCPO and aromatics rings.

Then they proposed a new aromatization mechanism, including the formation of the above intermediates, which conspicuously weakened the hydrogen transfer reaction, resulting in an increase in aromatics selectivity and a drop in alkanes.

"Our study broadens approaches toward the transformation of into chemicals, and ensure the sustainable development of natural gas in an environmental pathway," said Prof. Zhu.

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More information: Xudong Fang et al, Highly Enhanced Aromatics Selectivity by Coupling of Chloromethane and Carbon Monoxide over H‐ZSM‐5, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2022). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202114953
Citation: New strategy enhances aromatics selectivity in methane conversion (2022, March 22) retrieved 27 June 2022 from
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