Future of mechanistic studies of the MTO process

It is clear this is not the end of studies into the MTO process. The authors humbly state that "methoxy groups may contribute to the formation of hydrocarbon-pool species” which dominate the steady-state operation of the MTO process. It is hard to say whether such definitive claims to mechanistic investigations can ever be made with complete confidence.

Work on mechanistic studies of acidic zeolites is currently being carried out at the University of California, Berkeley in the Chemical Engineering Department with Professors Iglesia, Bell and Smit among others. Researchers are using a variety of techniques including kinetic studies, isotopic studies, characterization and computational methods to elucidate these mechanisms.