Dehydrogenation of propane over natural clinoptilolite zeolites
Clinoptilolite is one of the most commonly used natural zeolites in environmental and industrial applications. In this study, the activity and selectivity of two different clinoptilolite tuffs from Thrace region of Greece were investigated using the model reaction of propane dehydrogenation and were compared to those of synthetic proton and metal-modified ZSM-5 zeolite catalysts. The clinoptilolite bearing tuff from Metaxades (MCH) showed appreciable activity for propane dehydrogenation, similar to that of a steamed Cr-modified ZSM-5 zeolite and considerably higher compared to the second natural clinoptilolite tuff (SF) from the area of Pentalofos and to the H-ZSM-5 zeolite. The total propylene yield for the MCH sample at 540 °C was 8.4%, compared to 3.4% for SF, 5.3% for steamed H-ZSM-5 and 8.3% for steamed Cr-modified ZSM-5. The proton-exchanged forms of both natural zeolites showed improved conversion of propane but resulted in lower propylene selectivity due to subsequent hydrogen transfer, cracking and cyclo-oligomerization reactions induced by the higher number of framework Brönsted acid sites.