Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Hanjing Tian

Committee Member

Fernando Lima

Committee Member

John Hu


Methane dehydroaromatization (CH4-MDA) is a highly promising venture for natural gas utilization/exploitation, i.e., direct conversion of methane (CH4) to liquid aromatics (benzene) and hydrogen. This process is a catalytic reaction and therefore, is subject to all the advantages and constraints of catalysis. This study discussed the structure and reactivity of Mo/ZSM-5 zeolite catalysts and their effect on the active conversion of methane to valuable aromatic products such as benzene: 1) The preparation and characterization of Mo/ZSM-5, which are crucial steps in any catalytic reaction process since a better performing catalyst consequently leads to better outcomes; 2) An examination of the structure and properties of the prepared and characterized molybdenum zeolite catalyst (Mo/ZSM-5) reveals that the MoOx sites are responsible for the performance of the catalyst, as discussed in surface-active structure performance relationship subsection. In addition, there are some studies compared the reaction performance of Mo/ZSM-5 with other catalytic system such as molybdenum carbide; 3) The performance of this catalyst is essentially determined by the nature of surface desorption, the propensity of mass diffusion of benzene and naphthalene by-products across active sites, and the propensity for coking. These three factors are influenced by multiple parameters such as molybdenum content, the reaction temperature, the space velocity and the reaction time, which have been discussed in detail in this study. In order to overcome the challenge of coking, which impedes the effectiveness of the MDA process, fundamental discoveries have been explored by the researchers, along with their major impacts. 4) The final section of this paper explores the best reactor design by comparing the structure and performances of a fixed-bed reactor (FR) and a membrane reactor (MR).