Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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Vasiliy Alexandrovich Bolotov, Serguei Fedorovich Tikhov, Konstantin Radikovich Valeev, Vladimir Timurovich Shamirzaev, Valentin Nikolaevich Parmon

Last modified: 11-10-2019


Linear even-carbon-number alpha-olefins (LAO) with four or more carbon atoms are important compounds of high demand in chemical industry as precursors of a wide range of value-added chemicals [1]. LAO are used as co-monomers for polyethylene production, for the production of alcohols (mainly in detergents and plasticizers) and for synthesis of polyalphaolefins (used in synthetic lubricants). Alpha-olefins (C4, C6, C8 and C10) are mainly used to produce poly(vinyl chloride) plasticizers, high-density and linear low-density polyethylene to impart the stress-crack resistance. C10–C14 alpha-olefins can be used to synthesize linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (synthetic detergents).

A conventional route to produce alpha-olefins is oligomerization of ethylene. The process provides production of high quality alpha-olefins but is very costly. If not oligomerization, LAO can be produced by thermal cracking of waxy paraffins but the product is not pure and contains numerous internal olefins, dienes and paraffin impurities. The process is conducted in the vapor phase at relatively low cracking temperatures and needs rapid quenching to prevent side reactions such as isomerization or cyclization.

In our previous work [2], we showed that the selectivity to alpha-olefins can be increased considerably via catalytic cracking of n-alkanes under selective MW heating of catalysts.

In the present work, the general regularities of MW cracking of n-alkanes are presented. Porous ceramic matrix Al2O3/Al composites (ceramometals) and various carbon materials (CM) having high dielectric losses were studied as supports of the catalysts. MW cracking was conducted with n-C16H34 and n-C28H58. The influence particle size and surface morphology of ceramometals and CM on the structural and group composition of the products was studied. It was established that LAO (C2-C23) and n-alkanes (C2-C26) were the main cracking products under selective MW heating of the used supports. The quantitative analysis of the products demonstrated that the liquid-phase process is more selective to alpha-olefins at the MW catalytic cracking than at the convectional thermal cracking. Silica modification of the surface of CM was shown to suppress spark discharge (usually observed at MW heating of CM); hence, the thermal cleavage of C-C bonds on the CM surface but not in the plasma discharge contributes the most to the formation of radicals. It was shown that the selectivity to liquid alpha-olefin could be more than 85 % under MW heating of cermets in region of the E - field node and decrease considerably in the region of H - field node.


microwave heating, catalyst, linear alpha-olefins

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