In this work, a hydrocracking catalyst, nano zeolite Y-NiO-WO3 is reshaped into nanofibrous form. This novel composite fiber show good mechanical strength together with a uniform elemental distribution for both the acidic and hydrogenation components as confirmed through scanning transmission electron microscopy. The catalyst is tested for n-heptane hydrocracking in a continuous flow fixed-bed reactor at reaction temperatures of 350 °C and 400 °C with a time on stream of 180 minutes. The fibers produced from nano zeolite-Y show superior performance with a total conversion of 98.81 wt% and 96.8 wt% at 350 °C and 400 °C respectively. In addition, a low amount of coke (0.40 wt% and 1.05 wt% at 350 °C and 400 °C respectively) was formed with the nano zeolite Y fibers. This superior performance is related to the enhanced accessibility due to the nanofiber shape where the non-woven mesh/network of catalytic fibers prevents the agglomeration of the nanoparticles. Agglomeration is a major cause of hindered accessibility of the reactants to the catalyst active sites. The zeolite particle size, and the shape of the fibrous catalyst, together with its mesoporous character (as confirmed through BET analysis) enhances diffusion and improves accessibility for the reactants to react on the catalytic active sites as proven by the high total n-heptane conversions and high hexane and iso hexane selectivity for n-heptane hydrocracking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)