Enhanced C2 Yields from Methane Oxidative Coupling by Means of a Separative Chemical Reactor

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Science  08 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5131, pp. 221-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5131.221


Of the processes for converting natural gas into a more useful chemical feedstock, the oxidative coupling of methane to form ethane and ethylene (C2) has perhaps been the most intensively investigated in recent years, but it has proved extremely difficult to obtain C2 yields in excess of 20 to 25%. Methane oxidative coupling was carried out in a separative chemical reactor that simulated a countercurrent chromatographic moving-bed. This reaction gives 65% methane conversion, 80% C2 selectivity, and a C2 yield slightly better than 50% with Sm2O3 catalyst at ∼1000 K.