Catalysts consisting of low concentrations of palladium on several zeolite carriers were used in the hydrogenation of acetylene in low concentrations in the presence of ethylene in high concentrations. The objective was to maximize the conversion to ethylene and minimize further hydrogenation to ethane or oligomerization. Data for the rate of both acetylene disappearance and conversion to oligomers were correlated by simple first-order relationships in hydrogen partial pressure and palladium concentration over a range of temperatures from 24 to 80°C. The relationship between reaction rate and temperature was described by an Arrhenius-type equation with an effective activation energy of 13-14 kcal/g mol. Reaction rates and selectivities for palladium on silicalite and palladium incorporated into ZSM-5 during synthesis compared favorably with a commercial reference catalyst.
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