Optimum operation of oxidative coupling of methane in porous ceramic membrane reactors

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This paper presents analysis of oxidative coupling of methane on Li/MgO packed porous membrane reactor (PMR) by the fixed-bed reactor (FBR) model with reliable reaction kinetic equations. PMR can improve the selectivity and yield by controlling the oxygen feed to the catalyst bed through manipulating the feed pressure. At a fixed methane feed rate there is an optimal oxygen feed pressure that will achieve the highest yield. With a commercial ultrafiltration ceramic membrane, theoretical analysis shows that PMR can achieve, by operating with both side pressures at 1bar at 750 °C, a maximal 30% yield at 53% selectivity. The maximal yield achieved in the FBR of identical dimension and temperature is 20.7% at 52.5% selectivity. Parametric study shows that lowering the membrane permeability improves the performance. Higher oxygen feed pressure will reduce the yield as well as the selectivity. Homogeneous reactions at high shell-side pressure can have adverse effect on the performance due to the fact that homogeneous reaction rates are strongly pressure dependent. The shell (oxygen feed) side volume must be minimized to reduce the homogeneous reactions. The results of PMR model calculation fit the published experimental result unexpectedly well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-273
Number of pages19
JournalCatalysis Today
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jul 30 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Mathematical model
  • Optimum operation
  • Oxidative coupling
  • Porous membrane reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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