Oxidative coupling of methane on improved bismuth oxide membrane reactors

Y. Zeng, Y. S. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Fluorite-structured yttria-bismuth oxide membranes with improved chemical stability were prepared by doping samarium in the lattice. The samarium-doped yttria-bismuth oxide (BYS) membranes are in fluorite structure, with high oxygen permeability and good catalytic properties for oxidative coupling of methane (OCM). The oxygen partial pressure dependence of oxygen permeation flux shows a shift of the rate-limiting step from the surface reaction to the bulk electron-hole conduction as temperature increases from 750 to 950°C. OCM reactions were conducted in a membrane reactor made of the disk-shaped BYS membrane. Methane- and oxygen-containing streams are fed into the opposite sides of the BYS membrane to allow OCM reactions to occur on the membrane surface exposed to methane. The membrane reactor gives C2 yields of 4-11% with C2 selectivity up to 74%. The performance of this membrane reactor is closely related to oxygen permeation properties of the BYS membrane. Experimental results show the effectiveness in improving the C2 yield by increasing the membrane surface area to reactor volume ratio. In this disk-shaped membrane reactor the highest C2 yield achieved is 17%, with a C2 selectivity of about 80%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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