Synthesis of Stable and Low-CO2Selective Phase-Pure ϵ-Iron Carbide Catalysts in Synthesis Gas Conversion

Peng Wang, Wei Chen, Fu Kuo Chiang, A. Iulian Dugulan, Kui Zhang, Jiachun Chai, Weizhen Li, Bo Feng, Quan Lin, Yijun Lv, Zhongshan Guo, Zhuowu Men, Emiel J.M. Hensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Fe-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis reaction is the core of the coal-to-liquids (CTL) process, which is an efficient route to convert coal into liquid fuels via synthesis gas (a mixture of CO and H2). Conventional Fe-based FT catalysts convert typically 30% of the feed CO to undesirable CO2during the FT step. A decrease of CO2production in FT units can reduce the profitability of the overall CTL process. In this context, we synthesized phase-pure ϵ-Fe-carbide FT catalysts by careful control of the pretreatment and carburization conditions starting from Raney Fe. The resulting phase-pure Fe-carbide exhibits a low CO2selectivity during the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. The developed preparation method can be applied to supported Fe catalysts and does not require expensive starting chemicals. The purity and durability of as-synthesized phase-pure ϵ-Fe-carbide catalyst under FT conditions were characterized in detail by in situ characterization techniques. A bulk phase-pure ϵ-Fe-carbide catalyst operated at 23 bar, 235 °C and a H2/CO ratio of 1.5 shows stable performance with no deactivation during a 150 h pilot test. The catalyst is free of primary CO2formation and presents reduced secondary CO2formation compared to conventional Fe-based FT catalysts. These findings contribute to the development of new Fe-based FT catalysts for CTL processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACS Symposium Series
EditorsLang Qin, Liang-Shih Fan
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918


This work was supported by the national key research and development program of China (No. 2017YFB0602500). EJMH received financial support through a NWO-Top grant awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
National Key Research and Development Program of China2017YFB0602500


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