2016 Volume 65 Issue 4 Pages 347-355
In the present study, the catalytic dehydration of ethanol to obtain ethylene over montmorillonite clays (MMT) with mineral acid activation including H2SO4 (SA-MMT), HCl (HA-MMT) and HNO3 (NA-MMT) was investigated at temperature range of 200 to 400°C. It revealed that HA-MMT exhibited the highest catalytic activity. Ethanol conversion and ethylene selectivity were found to increase with increased reaction temperature. At 400°C, the HA-MMT yielded 82% of ethanol conversion having 78% of ethylene yield. At lower temperature (i.e. 200 to 300°C), diethyl ether (DEE) was a major product. The highest activity obtained from HA-MMT can be attributed to an increase of weak acid sites and acid density by the activation of MMT with HCl. It can be also proven by various characterization techniques that in most case, the main structure of MMT did not alter by acid activation (excepted for NA-MMT). Upon the stability test for 72 h during the reaction, the MMT and HA-MMT showed only slight deactivation due to carbon deposition. Hence, the acid activation of MMT by HCl is promising to enhance the catalytic dehydration of ethanol.