Selective catalytic light alkanes conversion: the catalysts, kinetics and mechanism

Friday, October 30, 2020

Dr. Yizhi Xiang

Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering

Mississippi State University

Time: 4:45 PM

Location: Hand 1100


The transformations of ubiquitous and underutilized light alkanes with inert C-H bonds remain a formidable challenge with far-reaching implications ranging from more efficient strategies for chemical syntheses to replacing current petrochemical feedstocks by cheaper and more abundant natural gas compounds. While considerable achievements have been made for methane conversion, there is also an urgent need to develop efficient catalysts for C2+ light alkanes conversion, which will benefit by replacing the high-temperature/carbon-intensive steam cracking with a low-temperature selective catalytic process. Our recent study focuses on the kinetics and mechanisms of direct ethane conversion through selective catalytic aromatization, dehydrogenation, and ammoxidation. Here, we will demonstrate our efforts on the kinetics and reaction pathways through the unique relaxation type transient method, and the rational design of efficient catalysts for the related catalytic systems. Examples to be discussed are including 1) chemical transient kinetic analysis of ethylene and ethane aromatization; 2) rational design of Sn-ZSM-5 for selective ethane ammoxidation to acetonitrile and ethylene; and 3) design bimetallic NiGa modified HZSM-5 for selective ethane aromatization.


Yizhi Xiang received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (2005) and Ph.D. in Industrial Catalysis (2010) at Zhejiang University of Technology. From 2011 to Oct. 2016, he was appointed as a postdoctoral research associate at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Washington State University. Subsequently, he joined NICE America Research, Inc. as a scientist/project leader. Since August 2017, he started his independent research as an assistant professor at Mississippi State University. His research focuses on the kinetics and mechanisms of the heterogeneous catalytic systems that involved in the conversion of non-petroleum resources, such as natural gas, coal, and biomass to petrochemical feedstocks. His research has been published in Nature Communications, JACS, ACS Catalysis, and Catalysis Science & Technology, etc.

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