Abstract by Kelsey Canizales
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Catalysis of the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Ethane
Ethylene is used worldwide in plastic production. The synthesis of ethylene from hydrocarbon feedstock is a common industrial process. Methods for ethane synthesis are done at temperatures > 1000 °C and are energetically and financially costly. The oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane produces ethylene at much lower temperatures. We have developed transition metal oxide catalysts supported on alumina that can selectively produce ethylene from the ODH of ethane at temperatures as low as 400 °C. Nickel (II) oxide catalysts supported on silica-doped alumina have shown selectivity for ethylene up to 75%. These catalysts can produce 1 µmol ethylene s-1 gnickel-1, making them viable for industrial application.