A Comparative Simulation Study on Oxidative Coupling of Methane in Fixed-Bed and Membrane Reactors

Y. K. Kao, L. Lei, Y. S. Lin

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48 Scopus citations


Oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) on a conventional fixed-bed reactor (FBR) and a ceramic dense membrane reactor (DMR) packed with Li/MgO catalyst is analyzed using plug-flow reactor models. The validity of OCM kinetic equations employed in the modeling is confirmed by excellent agreement between the simulation and experimental data for OCM on FBR. For FBR, a high methane to oxygen feed ratio favors the OCM reaction, with low C2 yield because of insufficient oxygen supply. The highest C2 yield achieved with a feed mixture consisting of 70% methane and 30% oxygen is 20.7% at a selectivity of 53% and operating temperature of 750°C. The C2 yield and selectively increase slightly at a higher operating temperature. The optimal feed ratio does not change with temperature. DMR is made of a mixed-conducting ceramic membrane tube packed with an OCM catalyst. The membrane tube separates the methane and oxygen feed. The oxygen concentration in the DMR is much lower and more uniform than that in the FBR because of the different reactant feeding mode and logarithemic dependence of oxygen flux on oxygen partial pressures of the dense ceramic membrane. This results in a significantly increased C2 selectivity and yield for the DMR as compared to the FBR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3583-3593
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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