Different metathesis catalysts were evaluated regarding their activity for propene production from ethene and trans-butene feedstocks. Nickel, molybdenum, rhenium and tungsten, along with bimetallic nickel-rhenium systems were applied with commercial supports and self-synthesized MCM-41. For the latter support the Si/Al ratio was adjusted as an additional optimization parameter (Si/Al = 60). Attractive activities were observed using Re and NiRe based catalysts at moderate temperatures of 200–250 °C. In contrast, the tungsten-based catalysts were only active above 450 °C. Three catalysts, namely Re/AlMCM-41(60), NiRe/mix (1:1) and W/SiO2
offered propene selectivity’s exceeding 40% at attractive conversion rates. These catalysts were characterized by BET, powder XRD, NH3
-TPD and TPR-TPO-TPR cycles. At specific reaction temperatures, reaction-regeneration cycles were performed, which revealed that for the Re and W catalysts the initial reactant conversions and propene selectivity can be recovered. In contrast, for the NiRe catalyst, a continuous, gradual and irreversible decrease of activity was observed. Even though the tungsten catalyst was operated at the highest temperature, no irreversible decrease in conversion and propene selectivity occurred. Therefore, this catalyst has potential as a promising candidate for the synthesis of propene.
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