UTFacultiesTNWEventsPhD Defence Yordi Slotboom | Ethylene production by pulsed compression

PhD Defence Yordi Slotboom | Ethylene production by pulsed compression

Ethylene production by pulsed compression

The PhD defence of Yordi Slotboom will take place in the Waaier building of the University of Twente and can be followed by a live stream.
Live Stream

Yordi Slotboom is a PhD student in the department Sustainable Process Technology. Promotors are prof.dr. S.R.A. Kersten and prof.dr. G. Mul from the faculty of Science & Technology.

I have enjoyed doing a PhD on ethylene production by pulsed compression. During my years of research, I have spent hours in a bunker outside the high pressure lab. I have performed over 2000 experiments, each lasting only 15 milliseconds. In the final year of my research, a new pilot continuous reactor was successfully built and experimented with.

The research is about methane to ethylene conversion using non-oxidative thermal coupling with pulsed compression technology. A pulsed compression reactor (PCR) is used that utilizes a free piston concept, compressing gases up to 600 bar in around 8 ms and raising temperatures to 4000 K. The PCR operates at lower temperatures (< 588 K), making it promising for ethylene production from abundant natural gas. This research explores methane and ethane conversion, revealing high selectivity to ethylene and other valuable products. Chapter 2 analyzes the single shot reactor (SSR) and develops a simplified model for gas compression behavior. Chapter 3 demonstrates methane conversion without oxygen, using nitrogen as a diluent, with high selectivity to ethylene. Chapter 4 maps operational conditions to maximize product concentrations, achieving 28% methane conversion and 99% selectivity for desired products. Chapter 5 examines the impact of different bathing gases on reaction rates, highlighting a dependency on gas type. Chapter 6 presents a kinetic model for methane and ethane pyrolysis, improving predictive capabilities over existing models. Chapter 7 introduces a continuous free piston reactor design for endothermic reactions, showing promise for continuous operation despite operational challenges. Finally, Chapter 8 concludes that converting ethane diluted in methane is the best way forward for ethylene production, shifting the ethane dehydrogenation process towards net conversion of methane, thus enhancing ethylene production.