Catalysis: Volume 31
Direct non-oxidative methane conversion in membrane reactor
Published:13 Feb 2019
Methane is an abundant fossil resource and the main constituent of natural gas and oil-associated gases. Innovation in methane conversion chemistry and technology is essential to provide value-added chemicals and fuels, which could be an alternative to petroleum. Direct non-oxidative methane conversion (DNMC) has been studied to produce C2 (e.g., acetylene, ethylene, ethane) and aromatics (e.g., benzene and naphthalene), when combined are referred to as C2+ hydrocarbons. However, thermodynamic constraint in DNMC leads to low methane conversion, low C2+ yield, and rapid catalyst deactivation by coke. Membrane reactors comprised of active DNMC catalysts and hydrogen-permeable membranes have the potential to alleviate the thermodynamic barriers and increase methane conversion. This chapter summarizes the past research and ongoing development on DNMC reaction in membrane reactors. The catalysts, membrane materials, reactor configurations and performance for DNMC in membrane reactors are discussed. The challenges, strategies to mitigate reactor deterioration during DNMC, as well as future research and development directions to advance this technology for one-step conversion of methane to C2+ hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals are presented.