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Highly Effective Methane Conversion To Aromatic Hydrocarbons By Means of Microwave and Rf-Induced Catalysis

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Conversion of methane to higher hydrocarbon products, in particular, aromatic hydrocarbons has been achieved with good methane conversion and selectivity to aromatic products over heterogeneous catalysts using both high power pulsed microwave and rf energy. For example, under microwave irradiation > 85% conversion of methane and 60% selectivity to aromatics could be achieved. Cu, Ni, Fe and Al metallic materials are highly effective catalysts for the aromatization of methane via microwave heating; however, with a variety of supported catalysts the major products were C2 hydrocarbons and the conversion of methane was low. The use of sponge, wire and net forms of these metal catalysts was found advantageous in effective methane conversion. The reactions are considered to be free radical in nature and to proceed through an intermediate stage involving formation of acetylene. The influence of catalyst nature and configuration, as well as the microwave and rf irradiation parameters on the reaction efficiency and product selectivity has been examined in both batch and continuous flow conditions.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, CANADA


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