Synthesis of stable and low-CO2 selective ε-iron carbide Fischer-Tropsch catalysts

P. Wang, W. Chen, Fu-Kuo Chiang, A.I. Dugulan, Yuanjun Song, R. Pestman, Kui Zhang, Jinsong Yao, Bo Feng, Ping Miao, Wayne Xu, E.J.M. Hensen

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Abstract

The Fe-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction constitutes the core of the coal-to-liquids (CTL) process, which converts coal into liquid fuels. Conventional Fe-based catalysts typically convert 30% of the CO feed to CO2 in the FT unit. Decreasing the CO2 release in the FT step will reduce costs and enhance productivity of the overall process. In this context, we synthesize phase-pure ε(′)-Fe2C catalysts exhibiting low CO2 selectivity by carefully controlling the pretreatment and carburization conditions. Kinetic data reveal that liquid fuels can be obtained free from primary CO2. These catalysts displayed stable FT performance at 23 bar and 235°C for at least 150 hours. Notably, in situ characterization emphasizes the high durability of pure ε(′)-Fe2C in an industrial pilot test. These findings contribute to the development of new Fe-based FT catalysts for next-generation CTL processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberaau2947
Number of pages6
JournalScience Advances
Volume4
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2018

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