Effect of SiO2/Al2O3 ratio in Ni/Zeolite-Y and Ni-W/Zeolite-Y catalysts on hydrocracking of heptane

Roba Saab, Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Dalaver H. Anjum, Nikolaos D. Charisiou, Maria A. Goula, Steven J. Hinder, Mark A. Baker, Andreas Schiffer

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This study investigated the effect of the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio in the range of 5-80 in zeolite Y (ZY) as a support for the bi-functional reaction of heptane hydrocracking. Bi-metallicity impact, through the addition of W on Ni in the supported metal catalysts was also examined. The catalytic activity was assessed at 350°C and 400°C in order to deduce an optimized composition of the catalyst in terms of metal composition and Si/Al ratio. The results were correlated to the catalysts’ surface and bulk properties, the latter after employing a number of material characterization techniques. It was shown that Ni-W bimetallic catalysts demonstrated better catalytic activity (conversion, 78% to 91%) than Ni-based monometallic counterpart catalysts (conversion, 74.2% to 82.7%), with NiO-WO3-ZY30 (SiO2/Al2O3 ratio equal to 30) exhibiting the highest conversion. This was attributed to the bimetallic's enhanced metal dispersion and smaller particle size, evaluated using temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) of H2 and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) imaging. The stronger acidity, as quantified by total acidity calculations, of zeolite Y having higher Si/Al ratio, and their balanced ratio of micro- and meso-porosity played a vital role in their catalytic performance. This study provides useful design guidelines on how to adjust both the Si/Al ratio in the zeolite Y support and the catalyst's bimetallicity for enhanced hydrocracking performance.

Original languageBritish English
Article number112484
JournalMolecular Catalysis
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Bi-functional catalyst
  • Bimetallic
  • Hydrocracking
  • Hydroprocessing
  • Surface acidity


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