Modeling of Ethylbenzene Dehydrogenation Membrane Reactor to Investigate the Potential Application of a Microporous Hydroxy Sodalite Membrane

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Nanostructure Material Research Center (NMRC), Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran


In this study the catalytic dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene was investigated in a simulated tubular sodalite membrane reactor. The high quality microporous sodalite membrane was synthesized by direct hydrothermal method and characterized by single gas permeation measurements. The performance of the prepared membrane showed high potential for application in a dehydrogenation membrane reactor (MR). The performance of the MR was evaluated using a pseudo-homogeneous model of the fixed bed that was developed in this purpose. The obtained results were evaluated in comparison with corresponding predictions for a plug flow reactor (PFR) operated at the same conditions. The modeling results confirmed the high performance of a MR over a conventional PFR. Ethylbenzene conversion and styrene yield increased about 3.45% and 8.99% respectively which is attributed to the effect of hydrogen removal from reaction side. The results demonstrate that the styrene yield in the MR is predicted to be more effective than that of in the conventional PFR. 


[1] Cavani, F. and Trifir, F.(1995). "Alternative processes for the production of styrene." Appl. Catal, A., Vol. 133, pp. 219-239.
[2] Abo-ghander, N.S., Grace, J.R., Elnashaie, S.S.E.H. and Lim, C.J. (2008)."Modeling of a novel membrane reactor to integrate dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene with hydrogenation of nitrobenzene to aniline." Chem. Eng. Sci, Vol. 63, pp. 1817-1826.
[3] Kong, C., Lu, J., Yang, J. and Wang, J. (2007)."Catalytic dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene in a zeolite silicalite-1 membrane reactor." J. Membrane Sci, Vol. 306, pp. 29-35.
[4] Abdalla, B.K. and Elnashaie, S.S.E.H. (1993)."A membrane ethylbenzene reactor for the production of styrene from Ethylbenzene." J. Membrane Sci, Vol. 85, pp. 229-239.
[5] Kumar, Sh., Shankar, S., Shah, P.R. and Kumar, S. (2006)."A Comprehensive Model for Catalytic Membrane Reactor." Int. J. Chem. React. Eng, Vol. 4, A5.
[6] Bergh, J.V.D., Gücüyener, C., Gascon, J. and Kapteijn, F. (2011)."Isobutane dehydrogenation in a DD3R zeolite membrane reactor." Chem. Eng. J, Vol. 166, pp. 368-377.
[7] Salomón, M.A., Coronas, J., Menéndez, M. and Santamar, J. (2000)."Synthesis of MTBE in zeolite membrane reactors." Appl. Catal., A, Vol. 200, pp. 201-210.
[8] Koutsonikolas, D., Kaldis, S., Zaspalis, V.T. and Sakellaropoulos, G.P. (2012)."Potential application of a microporous silica membrane reactor for cyclohexane dehydrogenation." Int. J. Hydrogen Energ, Vol. 37, pp. 16302-16307.
[9] She, Y., Han, J. and Ma, Y.H. (2001)."Palladium membrane reactor for the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene." Catal. Today, Vol. 67, pp. 43-53.
[10] Illgen, U., Schafer, R., Noack, M., Kolsch, P., Kuhnle, A. and Caro, J. (2001)."Membrane supported catalytic dehydrogenation of iso-butane using an MFI zeolite membrane reactor." Catal. Commun.,Vol. 2, pp. 339-345.
[11] Jeong, B.H., Sotowa, K.I. and Kusakabe, K. (2003). "Catalytic dehydrogenation of cyclohexane in an FAU-type zeolite membrane reactor." J. Membrane Sci., Vol. 224, pp. 151-158.
[12] Khajavi, Sh., Jansen, J.C. and Kapteijn, F. (2010a)."Application of a sodalite membrane reactor in esterification - Coupling reaction and separation." Catal. Today, Vol. 156, pp. 132-139.
[13] Bernal, M.P., Coronas, J., Menendez, M. and Santamara, J. (2002)."Coupling of reaction and separation at the microscopic level: esteriÿcation processes in a H-ZSM-5 membrane reactor." Chem. Eng. Sci., Vol. 57, pp. 1557-1562.
[14] Casanave, D., Fendler, A.G., Sanchez, J., Loutaty, R. and Dalmon, J.(1995). "Control of transport properties with a microporous membrane reactor to enhance yields in dehydrogenation reactions." Catal. Today, Vol. 25, pp. 309-314.
[15] Naskar, M.K., Kundu, D. and Chatterjee, M.(2006). "Effect of process parameters on surfactant-based synthesis of hydroxy sodalite particles." Mater. Lett., Vol. 65, pp. 436-438.
[16] Jiang, J., Gu, X., Feng, L., Duanmu, Ch., Jin, Y., Hu, T. and Wu, J. (2012)."Controllable synthesis of sodalite submicron crystals and microspheres from palygorskite clay using a two-step approach." Powder Technol., Vol. 217, pp. 298-303.
[17] Khajavi, Sh., Sartipi, S., Gascon, J., Jansen, J.C. and Kapteijn, F. (2010)."Thermostability of hydroxy sodalite in view of membrane applications." Micropor. Mesopor. Mat, Vol. 132, pp. 510-517.
[18] Hermann, Ch., Quicker, P. and Dittmeyer, R. (1997)."Mathematical simulation of catalytic dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene in a composite palladium membrane reactor." J. Membrane Sci., Vol. 136, pp. 161-172.
[19] Gobina, E., Hou, K. and Hughes, R. (1995)."Mathematical analysis of ethylbenzene dehydrogenation: Comparison of microporous and dense membrane systems." J. Membrane Sci., Vol. 105, pp. 163-176.
[20] Kalantari, N., Vaezi, M.J., Yadollahi, M., Babaluo, A.A., Bayati, B. and Kazemzadeh, A. (2014). "Synthesis of nanostructure hydroxy sodalite composite membranes via hydrothermal method: support surface modification and synthesis method effects." Asia Pac. J. Chem. Eng., DOI: 10.1002/apj.1844.