Optimization of Process Variables for Oxidative Coupling of Methane

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) is a promising route for converting abundant natural gas resources into more useful chemicals like paraffins and olefins (primarily C2). However, to date, there is no current OCM production plant due to low overall conversion and selectivity to the desired product(s). In this work, different operating factors are studied experimentally and through simulation with respect mainly to three responses: CH4 conversion, C2 main product selectivity, and COx side product selectivity. The aim is to identify the best operating condition for maximum ethylene production combined with COx production. Design of experiments (DoE) method was used to analyze the experimental results by applying the full factorial approach. Simulation results were studied by finding the correlation strength between input factors and responses. It was found that the performance of an OCM reactor could be greatly improved under optimal operating conditions. Operating temperature and CH4/O2 ratio have the highest influence while catalyst weight and flow rate have the lowest influence on the OCM responses and mainly depend on rector dimensions.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMani Sarathy (Supervisor)


  • OCM
  • Process Optimization
  • Oxidation coupling of methane
  • DoE
  • Design of experiment

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