Toward better understanding of the catalytic action of acidic zeolites: investigation in methane and ethane activation and transformation


Lukyanov, D. B., Beckett, S. J. and Vazhnova, T., 2012. Toward better understanding of the catalytic action of acidic zeolites: investigation in methane and ethane activation and transformation. ACS Catalysis, 2 (12), pp. 2596-2601.

Related documents:

PDF (Author's accepted version) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (279kB) | Preview

    Official URL:

    Related URLs:


    Studies of cracking reactions of alkanes with three or more carbon atoms have been central to the development of our understanding of the catalytic action of acidic zeolites, which are important catalysts in petrochemical and chemical industries. However, the mechanisms of the simplest cracking reactions, that is, the cracking of the C–H and C–C bonds in methane and ethane, have only been studied theoretically, not experimentally. Here we show that ethane is converted over a H-MFI zeolite at 510–550 °C with formation of such primary products as ethene, hydrogen, methane, and propane. To explain these results, we suggest and consider two catalytic cycles of the reaction. The first cycle involves protolytic cracking of the C–H bond with formation of hydrogen and ethoxide group, the latter decomposing into ethene and the zeolite acid site. We propose that the second cycle is initiated by the protolytic cracking of the C–C bond that results in formation of methane and a methoxide group as an intermediate. We theorize that this reacts with ethane molecules regenerating the zeolite acid site and producing (i) methane and ethene via hydrogen transfer and (ii) propane via a C–C bond formation reaction. Both suggested catalytic cycles are fully supported by the kinetic results of this study and are in a good agreement with recent theoretical work. We also demonstrate that the cracking of the C–H bond in methane (that could proceed via methoxide intermediate) does not occur over H-MFI zeolites up to 700 °C most likely because of a high activation energy. The proposed involvement of methoxide groups, as active intermediates, in ethane transformation provides a basis and excellent opportunity for theoretical studies of such interesting reactions as hydrogen transfer and C–C bond formation with participation of these surface species.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsLukyanov, D. B., Beckett, S. J. and Vazhnova, T.
    Related URLs
    URLURL Type
    DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Chemical Engineering
    Publisher StatementLukyanov_ACS_Catalysis_2012.pdf: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Catalysis, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
    ID Code32275


    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...