Propene, together with ethene, is one of the central building blocks in the petrochemical industry. However, the industry evolved around steam cracking technology has been designed to maximize ethene production, and propene comes along only as by-product. On the other hand, in the last years the market of propene has experienced an increasing in its demand due to its consumption mainly in polypropene and propene oxide manufacture . Therefore, traditional sources based on steam cracking technology are not sufficient to face this increasing demand.
The production of propene has been relegated as by-product in the ethene production. Thus, propene production is strongly influenced by the feed conditions, whereby the utilization of lighter feedstocks from low-cost natural shale gas reduces considerably the propene production in steam cracker units. Therefore, this raises the question how the chemical industry will address this imbalance and ensure adequate propene supplies into the future . Consequently, to meet the increasing demand for the propene production, on-purpose technologies will be of great interest. In this sense, several strategies have been proposed for propene production; the dehydrogenation of propane , the catalytic cracking of C4 alkenes to propene , the metathesis of ethene and 2-butene and the direct conversion of ethene to propene. The mentioned processes have several drawbacks that make difficult an industrial application e. g. deactivation of the catalysts, a wide spectrum of reaction products that reduce the propene selectivity.
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