Modification of zeolite Y as a catalyst in the production of dimethyl ether from methanol dehydration
Dimethyl ether is an eco-friendly alternative renewable energy that can be utilized in diesel engines to substitute fossil fuels and gas stoves as a household fuel. In the dimethyl ether synthesis process, a catalyst was used to assist the reaction. The catalyst used in this study was dealuminated zeolite Y. This study's objective was to determine the best-dealuminated zeolite Y as a catalyst for the synthesis of dimethyl ether. The zeolite Y catalyst was dealuminated by using sulfuric acid solution. In the preparation step, zeolite Y was dealuminated at different dealumination temperatures (40 to 60°C) and acid concentrations (7.5 to 9.5 N). The catalyst was characterized by using XRF, BET, and SEM-EDX methods. The acidity analysis of the catalyst was performed by the ammonia and pyridine absorption methods. The results showed that the best-dealuminated zeolite Y catalyst was achieved under conditions of dealumination temperature of 50°C and acid concentration of 8.5 N with total acidity of 37.665 mmol/g, Si/Al ratio of 69.42, and surface area of 41.310 m2/g, respectively. The result of catalyst performance test in the dimethyl ether synthesis through methanol dehydration showed that the dealuminated zeolite Y had higher activity than zeolite Y without dealumination. The obtained methanol conversion using dealuminated zeolite Y was 76.07%.