Irina Prokopyeva


Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft 
Tel: *31 (0)15 2788321

Towards Selective and Stable Methanol to Olefins Conversion: Alternative Route to C2-C4 Olefins with Zeolite Materials 

Due to the growing consumption of light hydrocarbons and increasing shortage of oil, utmost interest to the alternative routes of olefin synthesis has arisen. Among these routes the methanol to olefin conversion(MTO)[1], comparatively new catalytic process and therefore less studied, should be highlighted. The reaction pathway includes conversion of methanol to the variety of olefinic products, where selectivity can be adjusted by changing reaction conditions, over acidic zeolite catalysts characterized by lacking in stability, one of the most important catalytic features for the industrial implementation. 

Thus, the main target of this PhD project is to optimize catalytic system for MTO process focusing on a micro- and a macro-level. 

The micro-level includes combined investigation and optimization of well-known industrial catalysts (MFI and CHA)[2] together with recently developed at  TU Delft DDR structures [3], selectivity and stability being the main issues. 

The macro-level, in turn, involves the design of a chemical reactor. In this case, the application of two-zone fluidized bed reactor (TZFBR)[4] will be explored. The use of a TZFBR will allow in situ catalyst regeneration and fine tuning reaction selectivity towards the desired product(s). 

Herein, the rational approach will be applied by combining research at both levels simultaneously. Furthermore, utilization of advanced characterization techniques will provide insight on possible reaction mechanism, transport phenomena and kinetics. 


  1. Stocker, M., Methanol-to-hydrocarbons: catalytic materials and their behavior. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 1999. 29(1-2): p. 3-48.
  2. Olsbye, U., et al., Conversion of Methanol to Hydrocarbons: How Zeolite Cavity and Pore Size Controls Product Selectivity. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 2012. 51(24): p. 5810-5831.
  3. Kumita, Y., et al., Shape selective methanol to olefins over highly thermostable DDR catalysts. Applied Catalysis a-General, 2011. 391(1-2): p. 234-243.
  4. Gascon, J., et al., Fluidized bed reactors with two-zones for maleic anhydride production: Different configurations and effect of scale. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2005. 44(24): p. 8945-8951.