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Keywords:

  • biorefinery;
  • bioethanol;
  • olefins;
  • HZSM-5 zeolite;
  • deactivation;
  • kinetic model

Abstract

The kinetics of deactivation by coke of a HZSM-5 zeolite catalyst in the transformation of bioethanol into hydrocarbons has been studied. To attenuate deactivation, the following treatments have been carried out: (i) the zeolite has been subjected to a treatment with alkali to reduce the acid strength of the sites and (ii) it has subsequently been agglomerated into a macro and meso-porous matrix of bentonite and alumina. The experimental study has been conducted in a fixed bed reactor under the following conditions: temperature, between 300 and 400°C; pressure, 1 atm; space-time, up to 1.53 (g of catalyst) h (g of ethanol)−1; particle size of the catalyst, between 0.3 and 0.6 mm; feed flowrate, 0.16 cm3 min−1 of ethanol+water and 30 cm3 (NC) min−1 of N2; water content in the feed, up to 75 wt %; time on stream, up to 31 h. The expression for deactivation kinetics is dependent on the concentration of hydrocarbons and water in the reaction medium (which attenuates the deactivation) and, together with the kinetics at zero time on stream, allows the calculation of the evolution with time on stream of the yields and distribution of products (ethylene, propylene and butenes, C1-C3 paraffins, and C4-C12). By increasing the temperature in the 300–400°C range the role of ethylene on coke deposition is more significant than that of the other hydrocarbons (propylene, butenes and C4-C12), which contribute to a greater extent to the formation of coke at 300°C. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 526–537, 2012.