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

Post-Synthetic Surface Modification of Metal–Organic Frameworks and Their Potential Applications

by Figueroa-Quintero, Villalgordo-Hernández, Delgado-Marín, Narciso, Velisoju, Castaño, Gascon, Ramos-Fernandez
Small Methods Year: 2023 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smtd.202201413


Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous hybrid materials with countless potential applications. Most of these rely on their porous structure, tunable composition, and the possibility of incorporating and expanding their functions. Although functionalization of the inner surface of MOF crystals has received considerable attention in recent years, methods to functionalize selectively the outer crystal surface of MOFs are developed to a lesser extent, despite their importance. This article summarizes different types of post-synthetic modifications and possible applications of modified materials such as: catalysis, adsorption, drug delivery, mixed matrix membranes, and stabilization of porous liquids.