September 23, 2023

Conversion of Syngas and CO2 to Light Olefins using Multi-Functional Catalysts


This report describes our effort in developing a novel zeolite encapsulated metal nanoparticle catalyst for the conversion of syngas to light olefins. We have adopted a ligand assisted synthesis protocol in which first metal-amine was prepared using metal salts and suitable amine ligands. The stable metal-amine complex thus prepared was then used as the seed for the growth of zeolite in alkaline solution. We have optimized the synthesis condition as well as different amine ligand to identify the condition to obtain stable metal-amine complex. Upon synthesis of zeolite, metal particles are encapsulated inside the zeolite in a confined space. We have synthesized both Fe and Co catalyst inside silicalite and chabazite zeolite. Catalytic activity of these catalysts were evaluated for syngas conversion reaction and compared with a baseline catalyst. The activity trend of zeolite encapsulated catalyst show very different activity trend compared to the baseline catalyst. While a distribution of products with different carbon number was obtained with baseline catalyst, zeolite encapsulated catalyst show ethylene as the major product. While ~73% selectivity to C2-C6 products were obtained with cahabazite encapsulated Fe catalyst, only 53% selectivity was obtained for the corresponding products with silica-alumina supported Fe catalyst. Not only higher selectivity, Fe-chabazite also produces only C2 products (ethylene/ethane) while a distribution of products was obtained with Fe-SiAl catalyst. The significantly different reactivity associated with the chabazite encapsulated Fe catalyst was attributed to the confinement effect. We hypothesized that due to the small size of the pore, only ethylene was obtained as the product.

Published: September 23, 2023


Sanyal U., F. Lin, and P. Wang. 2023. Conversion of Syngas and CO2 to Light Olefins using Multi-Functional Catalysts Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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