Deactivation of PtH-ZSM-5 Bifunctional Catalysts by Coke Formation during Benzene Alkylation with Ethane

  • Li Min Chua

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The alkylation of benzene with ethane was studied at 370 oC over two Pt-containing ZSM-5 catalysts with SiO2/Al2O3 ratios of 30 and 80. While the benzene and ethane conversion decreased with time-on-stream for the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst, the PtH-ZSM-5(80) catalyst demonstrated a stable performance. The deactivation of the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst was found to be more significant, when compared to the PtH-ZSM-5(80) catalyst as a result of differences in the formation of coke. Results from gas sorption and x-ray diffraction experiments showed that coke is preferentially formed within the channel segments of the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst as opposed to coke deposition on the outside surface of the PtH-ZSM-5(80) crystallites, subsequently blocking entrance to the zeolite channels. The location of the coke deposition was found to affect the product selectivity of the two PtH-ZSM-5 catalysts. The accessibility functions, derived from nitrogen and argon sorption data, suggested that, with prolonged time-on-stream, the coke molecules build up from the middle of the zeolite crystallites outwards towards the surface, as the reaction was carried out over the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst. Partial blockage of the internal pore structure of the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst decreased the diffusion length within the crystallites. In contrast to the typical effect of coking, where the selectivity of para- isomers would be enhanced with coke deposition, the effect of the reduction in the diffusion length of the PtH-ZSM-5(30) crystallites is consistent with the decreasing para-selectivity of the diethylbenzene (DEB) isomers with time-on-stream. n investigation of the causes of coke locations was conducted, and the results suggested that, the spatial distribution of Pt metal was responsible for the different locations of coke observed. Surface reactions initiated coking in the intercrystalline region of the PtH-ZSM-5(80) catalyst, as the Pt particles on the surface of the PtH-ZSM-5(80) crystallites increased the difficulty of access for reactants to the interior of the crystallites. Within the PtH-ZSM-5(30) catalyst, ethane dehydrogenation and benzene alkylation took place in the micropore network as a result of preferential intracrystalline deposition of Pt metal. Further conversions on the active sites within the PtH-ZSM-5(30) crystallites thus lead intracrystalline coking.
Date of Award1 Mar 2010
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSean Rigby (Supervisor) & Dmitry Lukyanov (Supervisor)


  • deactivation
  • coking
  • Zeolite
  • mass transport
  • gas sorption

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