INTERCAT - Intergrowth Materials for Improved Methanol-To-Olefin Catalysts (completed)

The Methanol-to-Olefin process (MTO) is an important step in the route of natural gas to petrochemicals and fine chemicals, originally developed by Norsk Hydro (now INEOS Chlorvinyls). Deactivation of the catalyst is a major feature of the process and recent results indicate that the catalyst structure and composition may have a role in the deactivation mechanism.

About the project

Systematic studies of the composition (Silicon distribution) of intergrowths of the dominant MTO catalyst, Silicoaluminophosphate (SAPO) -34, with a closely related polymorph, SAPO-18, are expected to reveal important aspects of the deactivation process. High resolution in situ synchrotron studies of a family of materials prepared and characterised using isotopic labelling techniques aim to link structure/composition to performance under realistic testing conditions. Studies of the crystal growth mechanisms of the intergrowth materials aim to establish the controlled synthesis of materials of desired composition and structure. Collaboration with international partners in the UK will provide complimentary modelling and in situ studies. Links to industrial users INEOS Chlorvinyls will ensure the commercialisation of interesting materials.


Primary Objective:

To achieve an understanding of the link of coke formation to structural and chemical features of the catalyst and its impact on deactivation.

Secondary Objectives:

  1. Establish a library of SAPO-18 and SAPO-34/18 intergrowth materials with systematic variation in structure, synthesis route and compositions that are well characterised by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy (silicon local environments) and X-ray diffraction (XRD- long range structure).
  2. Establish a model of the crystal growth mechanisms of these materials using atomic force microscopy.
  3. Understand the coking process of the SAPO-18 and intergrowth materials under real MTO conditions using synchrotron XRD, Raman spectroscopy, NMR and other methods. 


Financed by the GASSMAX program through Research Council of Norway



Published Mar. 19, 2013 10:34 AM - Last modified Aug. 25, 2017 10:55 AM