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Ethylene Formation by Catalytic Dehydration of Ethanol with Industrial Considerations

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Yuan Ze University, Chung-Li 32003, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2013, 6(1), 101-115;
Received: 9 November 2012 / Revised: 20 December 2012 / Accepted: 21 December 2012 / Published: 28 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Catalytic Materials)
Ethylene is the primary component in most plastics, making it economically valuable. It is produced primarily by steam-cracking of hydrocarbons, but can alternatively be produced by the dehydration of ethanol, which can be produced from fermentation processes using renewable substrates such as glucose, starch and others. Due to rising oil prices, researchers now look at alternative reactions to produce green ethylene, but the process is far from being as economically competitive as using fossil fuels. Many studies have investigated catalysts and new reaction engineering technologies to increase ethylene yield and to lower reaction temperature, in an effort to make the reaction applicable in industry and most cost-efficient. This paper presents various lab synthesized catalysts, reaction conditions, and reactor technologies that achieved high ethylene yield at reasonable reaction temperatures, and evaluates their practicality in industrial application in comparison with steam-cracking plants. The most promising were found to be a nanoscale catalyst HZSM-5 with 99.7% ethylene selectivity at 240 °C and 630 h lifespan, using a microreactor technology with mechanical vapor recompression, and algae-produced ethanol to make ethylene. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; dehydration; ethylene; catalyst selectivity; industry; catalyst stability ethanol; dehydration; ethylene; catalyst selectivity; industry; catalyst stability
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Fan, D.; Dai, D.-J.; Wu, H.-S. Ethylene Formation by Catalytic Dehydration of Ethanol with Industrial Considerations. Materials 2013, 6, 101-115.

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