A comparison of the catalytic partial oxidation of C1 to C16 normal paraffins



The catalytic partial oxidation (CPO) of C1 through C16 normal alkanes is examined on Pt and Rh-coated α-Al2O3 ceramic foam supports. New data for heavy liquid fuels (≥ C6) are combined with previously reported data for lighter hydrocarbons to explore the effects of reactant fuel molecular weight, catalyst metal, and support structure on the CPO of normal paraffins. These results show that, independent of catalyst metal and support geometry, fuel conversion and the total selectivity to olefin products increase with increasing chain length of the reacting fuel. Conversely, the selectivities of H2 and CO decrease with increasing molecular weight of the reacting fuel. Pt catalysts generate higher selectivities to ethylene and other olefins than Rh catalysts, but Rh is the better catalyst for synthesis gas (H2 + CO) production. Catalyst supports with lower internal surface area to volume ratio produce lower selectivities of H2 and CO and higher selectivities of H2O, ethylene, and other olefins than high surface area to volume catalysts. © 2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 2007