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Utilizing Microfibrous Entrapped Catalyst Mixtures as a Means to Overcome Transport and Equilibrium Limitations of Dimethyl Ether Synthesis via a Methanol Intermediate




Yantz, William Jr.

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Chemical Engineering


Due to the highly exothermic nature of single-step dimethyl ether synthesis, a highly conductive catalyst support known as microfibrous entrapped catalyst (MFEC) was utilized in order to mitigate the heat generation within the single reactor, as well as improving product quality for both a 15mm ID and 29mm ID reactor. When compared to the MFEC reactor, a packed bed had a 1.36 – 1.91 increase in centerline temperature than the MFEC reactor. Further, the MFEC consistently produced a higher content of the goal product, dimethyl ether, while also completely eliminating the side production of methane that was observed in the 29mm ID packed bed reactor. COMSOL was used to examine the surface temperature of catalysts in the MFEC reactor, and it was observed that the MFEC reactor consistently had lower catalyst surface temperature when compared to a packed bed.