Bifunctional Zeolite based Catalysts and Innovative process for Sustainable Hydrocarbon Transformation
In the past there have been a number of semi-industrial trials and even commercial processes to obtain on-purpose petrochemical feedstocks from methane and/or propane (more generally, C1-C4 hydrocarbons). However, their commercial success has been limited due to several reasons: from technical drawbacks (low conversions and selectivity) to economics (high capital investment and high operation costs are often obtained). Furthermore there is a need for lowering the carbon footprint of gas and oil industry, i.e. refining industry, contributing to an evolving scenario of sustainable economy in such field. BIZEOLCAT is addressing the use of light alkanes as raw material for specialty chemical industry and not as feedstock for fuels in the current oil refining process, becoming part of this transition. BIZEOLCAT will aim developing 4 new processes of light alkanes (methane, propane and butane) conversion to olefins (propylene, butadiene) and to aromatics demonstrating higher performance, cost efficiency and environmental sustainability, using innovative methodologies for catalysts preparation and membrane reactor design. A refining company, TUPRAS, will run the pilot unit experiments. Two large companies, CEPSA and PERSTORP, will validate propylene and propylene and benzene, respectively as part of TR5 validation. sLCA have demonstrated that the expected reduction in the greenhouse emissions related to the manufacturing of propane dehydrogenation developed within the project and also the Aromatization process in comparison to current Oleflex® and benzene production from a reformate plant is far over the target value of 20%. A joint venture creation is part of BIZEOLCAT exploitation plan. The BIZEOLCAT consortium comprises 14 partners: 2 technology centres, 2 research institutes, 3 universities, 1 Standardization body, 1 international association and finally 4 large industry and 1 SME from 10 countries (7 EU members, 2 associated countries to H2020, 1 third country).