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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100822

Use of Plasma-Synthesized Nano-Catalysts for CO Hydrogenation in Low-Temperature Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis: Effect of Catalyst Pre-Treatment

Department of Chemical and Biotechnological Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke (Québec), J1K 2R1 Canada
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Received: 11 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma based Synthesis and Modification of Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

A study was done on the effect of temperature and catalyst pre-treatment on CO hydrogenation over plasma-synthesized catalysts during the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS). Nanometric Co/C, Fe/C, and 50%Co-50%Fe/C catalysts with BET specific surface area of ~80 m2 g–1 were tested at a 2 MPa pressure and a gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 2000 cm3 h−1 g−1 of a catalyst (at STP) in hydrogen-rich FTS feed gas (H2:CO = 2.2). After pre-treatment in both H2 and CO, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the used catalysts shifted from a mono-modal particle-size distribution (mean ~11 nm) to a multi-modal distribution with a substantial increase in the smaller nanoparticles (~5 nm), which was statistically significant. Further characterization was conducted by scanning electron microscopy (SEM with EDX elemental mapping), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The average CO conversion at 500 K was 18% (Co/C), 17% (Fe/C), and 16% (Co-Fe/C); 46%, 37%, and 57% at 520 K; and 85%, 86% and 71% at 540 K respectively. The selectivity of Co/C for C5+ was ~98% with 8% gasoline, 61%, diesel and 28% wax (fractions) at 500 K; 22% gasoline, 50% diesel, and 19% wax at 520 K; and 24% gasoline, 34% diesel, and 11% wax at 540 K, besides CO2 and CH4 as by-products. Fe-containing catalysts manifested similar trends, with a poor conformity to the Anderson–Schulz–Flory (ASF) product distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: nano-catalysts; plasma synthesis; pre-treatment; CO-hydrogenation; low-temperature Fischer–Tropsch nano-catalysts; plasma synthesis; pre-treatment; CO-hydrogenation; low-temperature Fischer–Tropsch
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Aluha, J.; Gutierrez, S.; Gitzhofer, F.; Abatzoglou, N. Use of Plasma-Synthesized Nano-Catalysts for CO Hydrogenation in Low-Temperature Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis: Effect of Catalyst Pre-Treatment. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 822.

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