The hydrogen exchange between ethane and deuterium as well as tritium has been investigated over nickel powder catalyst. In the temperature range from 147 to 323°C the order of reaction with respect to hydrogen increases whereas for ethane the reverse is observed. The activation energy also decreases slightly. The study with deuterium showed that the main products of exchange were ethane-d2 and ethane-d6. The ratio of the initial rater of formation of these products depended on the catalyst activity and the temperature. By comparing these results with those of methane exchange the large difference in behaviour between methane and ethane can be ascribed to the difference in adsorption mechanism.
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