Ethylene production by pulsed compression

Yordi Slotboom

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The study investigates methane to ethylene conversion using non-oxidative thermal coupling with pulsed compression technology. A pulsed compression reactor (PCR) is used that utilizes a free piston concept, compressing gases up to 600 bar in around 8 ms and raising temperatures to 4000 K. The PCR operates at lower temperatures (< 588 K), making it promising for ethylene production from abundant natural gas. This research explores methane and ethane conversion, revealing high selectivity to ethylene and other valuable products. Chapter 2 analyzes the single shot reactor (SSR) and develops a simplified model for gas compression behavior. Chapter 3 demonstrates methane conversion without oxygen, using nitrogen as a diluent, with high selectivity to ethylene. Chapter 4 maps operational conditions to maximize product concentrations, achieving 28% methane conversion and 99% selectivity for desired products. Chapter 5 examines the impact of different bathing gases on reaction rates, highlighting a dependency on gas type. Chapter 6 presents a kinetic model for methane and ethane pyrolysis, improving predictive capabilities over existing models. Chapter 7 introduces a continuous free piston reactor design for endothermic reactions, showing promise for continuous operation despite operational challenges. Finally, Chapter 8 concludes that converting ethane diluted in methane is the best way forward for ethylene production, shifting the ethane dehydrogenation process towards net conversion of methane, thus enhancing ethylene production.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Kersten, Sascha R.A., Supervisor
  • Mul, Guido, Supervisor
Award date3 May 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5999-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-6000-9
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2024


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