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, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-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 (ACS)
    Number of pages27
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

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


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