Doctoral Dissertations


Xin Li

Keywords and Phrases

3D-printing; Catalysis; Core-shell; Light olefin; Monolith; Zeolite


"Zeolites are broadly used as heterogeneous catalysts in various chemical and petrochemical industries to produce value-added chemicals and fuels, mainly due to their large surface area, acid-base properties, high thermal stability, and excellent shape-selectivity. In this dissertation, various zeolite catalysts were engineered through fine-tuning micro-meso-macro-porosity and surface acidity. The engineered zeolites were used as heterogeneous catalysts for production of light olefins such as ethylene and propylene through alcohol dehydration and hydrocarbon cracking reactions.

To control the zeolite porosity and acidity, SAPO-34@ZSM-5 and SAPO-34@Silicalite-1 composites with core-shell structure were synthesized and evaluated in ethanol dehydration reaction. Analysis of catalytic performance revealed enhancement in propylene and ethylene yields and improvement in catalysts stability owing to their core-shell structure. Furthermore, zeolites HZSM-5 and HY with MFI and FAU frameworks were formulated into monolithic contactors using 3D printing technique, followed by subsequent SAPO-34 crystals growth through a secondary hydrothermal method. The 3D-printed zeolite monoliths were also doped with various metals such as Ce, Cr, Ga, La, Mg, Y, and Zn, and their structural and catalytic properties were systematically investigated. Due to the synergistic integration of the suitable acidity and the hierarchical porosity, high yield of light olefins and excellent anti-coking stability were demonstrated. The obtained catalytic results showed that monolithic catalysts with high zeolite loading exhibited comparable performance to their powder counterparts and displayed a relatively high catalytic stability and selectivity to light olefins"--Abstract, page iv.


Rownaghi, Ali A.

Committee Member(s)

Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.
Fitch, Mark W.
Ludlow, Douglas K.
Rezaei, Fateme


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2018

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Light olefins from renewable resources: Selective catalytic dehydration of bioethanol to propylene over zeolite and transition metal oxide catalysts
  • Synthesis of SAPO-34@ZSM-5 and SAPO-34@Silicalite-1 core-shell zeolite composites for ethanol dehydration
  • Catalytic cracking of n-hexane for producing light olefins on 3D-printed monoliths of MFI and FAU zeolites
  • 3D-printed zeolite monoliths with hierarchical porosity for selective methanol to light olefins reaction
  • Methanol-to-olefin conversion on 3D-printed ZSM-5 monolith catalysts: Effects of macro-meso-microporosity and metal doping
  • Synthesis of Cr, Cu, Ni and Y-doped 3D-printed ZSM-5 monoliths and their catalytic performance for n-hexane cracking


xix, 238 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2018 Xin Li, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11715

Electronic OCLC #