Controlling selectivity and stability of zeolite catalysts for methanol to hydrocarbons and ethylene oligomerization

Problem statement

Olefins are commodity chemicals with applications in the production of plastics (petrochemical industry), lubricants, plasticizers, and surfactants, among many others. However, there is an imbalance between their production and demand, which oligomerization-cracking reactions over zeolites could solve. At the same time, zeolites are excellent catalysts for methanol to hydrocarbons (MTH), olefins (MTO), or aromatics (MTA). The processes aim to produce light hydrocarbons like propylene or convert ethylene into higher-value a-olefins, aromatic hydrocarbons (BTX), and jet fuel.

Our focus in this project is to modify, synthesize and develop novel materials of different porosity (engineered at the multiscale): from hierarchical zeolites, nano zeolites, and hollow zeolites to catalytic particles, bodies, spray-dried and extrudates with tuned properties. Additionally, we incorporate different metals (i.e., Ni, Cr, Zn) to adjust the selectivity of desired products.

We use various reactors, such as operando or high-throughput packed-bed and batch reactors.


  • Develop a quantitative analytical workflow to analyze and interpret these complex reacting environments
  • Explore novel renewable and waste resources to obtain chemicals and fuels
  • Deploy ad-hoc catalysts and process conditions to incorporate these wastes in the refinery (bio- and waste-refinery)
  • Analyze process dynamics and kinetics

Related People

Related Publications

Deactivating Species in the Transformation of Crude Bio-Oil with Methanol into Hydrocarbons on a HZSM-5 Catalyst
J. Catal. Year: 2012
Authors: Valle, Castaño, Olazar, Bilbao, Gayubo
  • O2H
  • FCC
  • W2C
  • ANW
Effect of Cofeeding Butane with Methanol on the Deactivation by Coke of a HZSM-5 Zeolite Catalyst
Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. Year: 2011
Authors: Aguayo, Castaño, Mier, Gayubo, Olazar, Bilbao
  • O2H
  • CHA
Comprehensive Approach for Designing Different Configurations of Isothermal Reactors with Fast Catalyst Deactivation
Chem. Eng. J. Year: 2020
Authors: Cordero-Lanzac, Aguayo, Gayubo, Castaño, Bilbao
  • O2H
  • FCC
  • CRE
  • MKM