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Title: The effect of modification techniques on the performance of zeolite-Y catalysts in hydrocarbon cracking reactions
Author: Al-zaidi, Bashir Yousif Sherhan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 7266
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Mankind makes extensive use of crude oil to fuel its insatiable demands for energy and hydrocarbon derivatives. The refining of crude oil is based on a process known as cracking, where long-chain hydrocarbons are systematically broken into smaller chain hydrocarbons known as fractions with each fraction allowing for the production of a specific material. The maximum efficiency of cracking can be achieved in the petroleum refining processes by controlling the operating parameters of the units, and over the years many studies have attempted to optimize the cracking conditions such as temperatures, pressures and the use of a variety of catalysts to reach maximum productivity. Catalysts such as the Y-type zeolite catalysts are often used because their acidity and thermal stability makes them an ideal cracking catalyst; however the developments of enhanced catalytic properties for zeolite-Y catalysts are essential to increase the production yields. Optimization of the Y-type zeolite catalyst is the focus of this research and accordingly the synthesis, characterization, modifications and catalysis have been studied in depth. A review of the literature has shown that there are three main techniques used to improve the zeolite properties following the synthesis process; (Cation exchange, Dealumination and Desilication), since the crystalline structure of a Y-type zeolite is prepared from an alkaline aluminosilicates gel. However, the literature focuses mainly on the reaction variables used in the modifications. As such this study focuses on the effects of treatment processes on the composition, behaviour and catalytic properties of the synthesized Y-zeolite framework. Laboratory experimental data has confirmed that a synthesis process using 24 h aging for crystal nuclei at 25 °C and 18 h crystallization time for crystal growth at 100 °C produced the desired zeolite NaY morphology, and NaNH4Y zeolite forms with various cation contents (3, 1.5 and 0.5 wt% Na+) were obtained by subjecting the NaY form to a multi-stage ion exchange using 0.5 M NH4NO3 at 80 °C, while the HY form was obtained by the calcination of NH4Y form under high temperature. Calcination temperatures above 450 °C were shown to indicate a removal of the framework hydroxyl groups via dehydroxylation, which led to a collapse of zeolite-Y structure, whereas raising the level of Na+ inside the zeolite lattice throughout the calcination was led to a delay in the starting point of the dehydroxylation region as confirmed via TG and DSC-analyses. This finding was also used in the preparation of the USY form by steaming the HY form, as the former is a traditional zeolite-Y form utilized in the refining units. It was found that Na-ions hindered the extraction of Al-atoms from the Y-lattice thus reducing the rate of dehydroxylation, and minimising rapid contraction of the unit cells and Y-structure collapse, which helped make a rigid structure and a more resilient lattice for steaming at high temperature. In addition, analyses data confirmed that the extraction of EFAl-species from the USY-structures using an EDTA chemical treatment led to an increase in the acidity of treated catalyst and the introduction of mesopores. Lower lattice Si/Al ratio and larger porosity were also found using the dealuminated-desilicated rather than the desilicated-dealuminated leaching method in the treatment of both Y and USY structures via dislodgement of both Si and Al-atoms in NaOH and HCl solution. Cracking was performed on deactivated catalysts (450 °C) in a PFTR using nC7 in N2 at 325 - 425 °C and W/F = 22 - 44 g.h.mol-1, and confirmed that the tuned steaming/leaching conditions succeeded in modifying the catalytic properties of the in house made catalysts, as they possess superior performance when compared to the industrial catalysts typically used.
Supervisor: Garforth, Arthur Sponsor: Scientific Research in the Republic of Iraq
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zeolite Y Catalysts; Synthesis; Characterizations; Modifications; Catalysis