• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 13, No 4 (2022)

Synthesis and Characterization ZSM-5 Based on Kaolin as a Catalyst for Catalytic Cracking of Heavy Distillate

Synthesis and Characterization ZSM-5 Based on Kaolin as a Catalyst for Catalytic Cracking of Heavy Distillate

Title: Synthesis and Characterization ZSM-5 Based on Kaolin as a Catalyst for Catalytic Cracking of Heavy Distillate
Ratu Ulfiati, Donanta Dhaneswara, Sri Harjanto, Jaka Fajar Fatriansyah

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Cite this article as:
Ulfiati, R., Dhaneswara, D., Harjanto, S., Fatriansyah, J.F., 2022. Synthesis and Characterization ZSM-5 Based on Kaolin as a Catalyst for Catalytic Cracking of Heavy Distillate . International Journal of Technology. Volume 13(4), pp. 860-869

Ratu Ulfiati Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java, 16424, Indonesia
Donanta Dhaneswara Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java, 16424, Indonesia
Sri Harjanto Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java, 16424, Indonesia
Jaka Fajar Fatriansyah Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java, 16424, Indonesia
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Synthesis and Characterization ZSM-5 Based on Kaolin as a Catalyst for Catalytic Cracking of Heavy Distillate

This article describes the study of synthesis of ZSM-5 Zeolite based on kaolin as catalysts for catalytic cracking of heavy distillate. There are five types of formulas A, B, C, D, and E synthesized with varying the molar ratios of SiO2/Al2O3, SiO2/Na2O, and H2O/SiO2 and characterized by chemical compound, microstructure and catalytic performance. Three methods conducted the catalytic cracking of heavy distillate such as without catalyst, Ni-Mo commercial catalyst, and bifunctional catalyst ZSM-5 from Formula E, which was impregnated with transition metals (Ni, Mo) to be Ni-Mo/HZSM-5. The catalytical performance test result shows that, under operational conditions (~350 °C, 1 MPa), middle distillate hydrocarbon is obtained by the catalytic cracking of heavy distillate using Ni-Mo commercial catalyst and Ni-Mo/HZSM-5 Formula E catalyst. When a Ni-Mo/HZSM-5 Formula E catalyst and Ni-Mo Commercial Catalyst were used in the cracking process, a light hydrocarbon fraction (C3 - C5) was formed.

Catalytic Cracking; Formulation; Heavy Distillate; Zeolite


Due to the scarcity and depletion of traditional light petroleum resources, low-quality heavy oils and or residues obtained by processing heavy crudes are considered a suitable alternate source for transportation fuels, energy, and petrochemicals to meet the needs of rapidly growing populations and civilizations. Furthermore, numerous statistical studies have revealed that heavy crude reservoirs are significantly larger than conventional oil reservoirs, necessitating deep upgrading of heavy crude for refining and petrochemicals (Corma et al., 2017).

       The abundance of heavy crude oil reserves and the high demand for light olefins, particularly propylene, have created new opportunities to develop advanced catalyst and process technologies that efficiently convert asphaltene-enriched crudes to high-value chemicals. Indeed, many petrochemicals are produced as by-products of crude oil refining, as the primary goal of a crude oil refinery is to create transportation fuel (Alotaibi et al., 2018). 
    Catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons is important for industrial manufacturing because it has higher cracking conversion efficiency, higher light alkene selectivity, and less carbon deposition than thermal cracking (Sadrameli, 2016). ZSM-5 zeolite is the most commonly used catalyst for hydrocarbon catalytic cracking due to its acidity, unique pore structure, and high thermal and hydrothermal stability (Xue et al., 2017; Ahmed et al., 2017).

       Zeolites are advanced chemical materials that are used in a variety of petrochemical applications. There has been a surge in research interest in improving and enhancing the effectiveness of ZSM-5 as a catalyst in recent years. There has been a lot of interest in finding less expensive, more environmentally friendly alternative starting materials for the synthesis of ZSM-5 (Agustina et al., 2020; Reddy et al., 2020). Because it contains the necessary constituents for an aluminosilicate zeolite material, kaolin has been extensively researched as a zeolite precursor; its ubiquitous nature and utility in zeolite synthesis are well known as a low-cost method of obtaining catalysts (Hartati et al., 2020; Nugraha et al., 2021).

    The kaolin precursor influences physicochemical properties like morphology, porosity, and acidity, and optimal synthesis conditions are required for ZSM-5 synthesis from specific kaolin. However, studies of kaolin from different areas are critical because its varies depending on its geological occurrence. Chemical compositions of materials influence their properties, and variations in the structure and design of kaolin can thus influence its subsequent chemical reactivity (Pan et al., 2017; Krisnandi et al., 2019). The kaolin-based ZSM-5 catalyst showed good activity and selectivity to valuable fuel range hydrocarbons (Nugraha et al., 2021). Furthermore, significant efforts have been made to improve the catalytic activity of ZSM-5 catalysts by loading Ni and Mo on the supports. The shape of the XRD diffraction pattern of the ZSM-5 catalyst will be affected by the impregnation process of Ni and Mo metals at a specific concentration (Kedia & Zaidi, 2014; Ramasubramanian, et al. 2018).

       The previous studies have reported the determination of physical-chemical characteristics of “Badau Belitung kaolin” and their dehydroxylation effect during metakaolinization and metakaolinization on the specific surface area (Ulfiati et al., 2020a; Ulfiati et al., 2020b). The current study aims to observe the physicochemical properties and catalytical performance of ZSM-5 catalyst based on kaolin produced. The catalyst is expected to be used in heavy distillate catalytic cracking. This study used a heavy distillate fraction of crude oil with a boiling point of more than350 °C as feedstock.


    The synthesis of bifunctional Ni-Mo/HZSM-5 for catalytic cracking of petroleum heavy fractions was carried out using “Badau Belitung kaolin” as raw material. There are five formulas: A, B, C, D, and E, with varying SiO2/Al2O3, SiO2/Na2O, and H2O/SiO2 molar ratios. The surface area and pore volume of the catalysts Formula A, C and D increased significantly after Ni and Mo metals impregnation. The surface area and pore volume of the catalysts of formulas B and E remained relatively stable. This is due to a structural change from crystalline to amorphous. The result of performance test of the catalyst on the catalytic cracking process, where it does not use a catalyst, the yields did not produce a light hydrocarbon fraction (C3-C5), whereas when using a bifunctional catalyst Ni-Mo/HZSM-5 Formula E, it is seen that there is a fair amount of hydrocarbon fraction (C3-C5), as well as for the cracking process using Ni-Mo Commercial Catalyst. As a result, it is possible to conclude that the catalyst synthesized with Formula E has a fairly good cracking ability. When compared to the Ni-Mo commercial catalyst, the catalyst's performance test results showed roughly similar results in the catalytic cracking process of the heavy distillate fraction.


        The research was funded by a Research Grant from Penelitian Disertasi Doktor Kementerian Riset dan Teknologi/Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional Tahun Anggaran 2021 Nomor: NKB-328/UN2.RST/HKP.05.00/2021. The authors would also like to acknowledge the technical assistance provided by the Universitas Indonesia Advanced Materials Laboratory and the PPPTMGB "LEMIGAS" Catalyst Laboratory.

Supplementary Material
R1-MME-5150-20220323001046.docx Supplementary file

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