The nonoxidative catalytic dehydrogenation of ethane allows the production of ethylene at lower temperatures than those applied in steam crackers. This, however, requires stable catalysts that minimize coke production. Here, we report a single-component, promoter-free, low-loading, Cr-based catalyst exhibiting high activity, long-term stability, and improved regeneration properties for the direct dehydrogenation of ethane to ethylene. According to our detailed operando X-ray absorption spectroscopic analysis, the use of all-silica MFI zeolite as support promotes the stabilization of CrII(−O–Si≡)2 species with high coke resistance, even when the dehydrogenation is carried out under high ethane partial pressures (1.5 bar).
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