Catalytic Co-Aromatization of Ethanol and Methane

Matthew Yung, Aiguo Wang, Peng He, Hongbo Zeng, Hui Qian, Hua Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus Citations


This study demonstrates the technical feasibility of simultaneously converting ethanol and methane into liquid hydrocarbons at mild reaction conditions (400 °C and 1 atm) over silver and/or zinc modified zeolite catalysts. After GC-MS analysis, it is worth noting that aromatics are the major compounds contained in the liquid product collected from the run when 1%Ag/ZSM-5, particularly after H2 pretreatment, is charged. Compared to the performance exhibited from the run with pure HZSM-5 support engaged, Ag addition into the HZSM-5 framework favors aromatics formation, which might be closely associated with better Ag dispersion and more abundance of strong surface acidic sites where aromatization might take place while Zn loading exerts a detrimental effect on the production of aromatics but promotes the ether generation possibly through dehydration reaction. Referred to that from its N2 counterpart, the increased aromatics formation of the collected liquid product when methane is present indicates that methane existence might facilitate ethanol aromatization. Moreover, combined with the increased carbon number in the formed aromatics from CH4 run when H2 run is referred and zero liquid formation from CH4-alone test as well as more prominent endothermic feature of methane run and more importantly the notably increased 13C signals in 13C NMR spectra of the liquid product collected during ethanol conversion under 13CH4 environment, all the observations suggest that methane might be activated nonoxidatively and converted into higher hydrocarbons, preferentially into aromatics if suitable catalyst is charged under the assistance of co-existing oxygenated hydrocarbon. The reported synergetic effect could potentially lead to the more economic utilization of abundant natural gas and cellulosic ethanol.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)480-492
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-67709


  • Aromatization
  • Catalyst
  • Ethanol
  • Methane
  • ZSM-5


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