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Catalyst design to direct high-octane gasoline fuel properties for improved engine efficiency...

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Applied Catalysis B
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The paraffin-to-olefin (P/O) ratio in gasoline fuel is a critical metric affecting fuel properties and engine efficiency. In the conversion of dimethyl ether (DME) to high-octane hydrocarbons over BEA zeolite catalysts, the P/O ratio can be controlled through catalyst design. Here, we report bimetallic catalysts that balance the net hydrogenation and dehydrogenation activity during DME homologation. The Cu-Zn/BEA catalyst exhibited greater relative dehydrogenation activity attributed to higher ionic site density, resulting in a lower P/O ratio (6.6) versus the benchmark Cu/BEA (9.4). The Cu-Ni/BEA catalyst exhibited increased hydrogenation due to reduced Ni species, resulting in a higher P/O ratio (19). The product fuel properties were estimated with an efficiency merit function and compared against finished gasolines and a typical alkylate blendstock. Merit values for the hydrocarbon product from all three BEA catalysts exceeded those of the comparison fuels (0–5.3), with the product from Cu-Zn/BEA exhibiting the highest merit value (9.7).