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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


GUERRERO FAJARDO, Carlos Alberto; N'GUYEN, Yvonne; COURSON, Claire  and  ROGER, Anne-Cécile. Fe/SiO2 catalysts for the selective oxidation of methane to formaldehyde. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.2, pp.37-44. ISSN 0120-5609.

Selective oxidation of methane to formaldehyde was analysed with iron catalysts supported on silica prepared by the sol-gel method, leading to obtaining a large support surface area facilitating high dispersion of iron on silica’s amorphous surface. Seven catalysts were prepared; one of them corresponded to the silica support and another five having an iron load 0.1-0.5% in weight. Catalyst 7 (0.5% Fe in weight) was prepared with neutral pH control and had the most homogeneous characteristics since it did not present isolated iron species, corroborated by SEM and TEM analysis. The highest BET areas were 1,757 and 993 m2⋅g-1 for 0.5% Fe catalysts, having an average 36% microporosity and 43% mesoporosity. X-ray diffraction confirmed the catalyst’s amorphous structure. Catalytic activity was carried out with catalyser 7 at atmospheric pressure in a quartz reactor using a CH4/O2/N2=7.5/1/4 reaction mixture at 400-750°C temperature range. Reaction products were analysed by gas chromatography with TCD. The heterogeneous catalysts displayed greater methane conversion (but with methanol selectivity) whereas homogenous catalyst 7 gave better results regarding formaldehyde. The highest conversion percentage (8.60% mol) for catalyser 7 was presented at 650°C. Formaldehyde selectivity was 50% mol in the 600-650°C range and maximum yield (0.31g HCHO/Kg catalyst) was found in this range; it was thus considered that 650°C for the reaction was thereby the best operating temperature.

Keywords : Fe/SiO2 catalyst; formaldehyde; selective oxidation; sol-gel.

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