The dehydrogenation of 2-butanol in a Pd-Ag membrane reactor
It the present work, the dehydrogenation of 2-butanol to methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) was investigated in a membrane reactor. The membrane reactor consisted of a Pd-Ag film (2.2μm thickness) deposited on the inside of an α-alumina tube and packed with a 14.4wt.% Cu on SiO2 catalyst. The performance of the membrane reactor, at temperatures from 190 to 240°C, was compared to that of a plug flow reactor. The effects of the 2-butanol feed flow rate and the sweep gas to feed molar ratio on 2-butanol conversion were investigated. The membrane reactor performed significantly better than the plug flow reactor in both the equilibrium and non-equilibrium restricted feed flow regimes. The 2-butanol conversion increased with an increase in the sweep gas flow rate, but decreased with an increase in the 2-butanol feed flow rate. At 240°C, conversions up to 93% were obtained with the membrane reactor as compared to 80% for the plug flow reactor. Selectivity towards MEK production was above 96% for all experiments conducted. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.