Identification of carbon species on iron-based catalysts during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionApplied Catalysis A : General. 2018, 554 10-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcata.2018.01.019
This paper focuses on the use of in situ and ex situ characterisation techniques to provide evidences of carbon species on a commercial iron-based Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalyst as well as other indices of potential deactivation mechanisms. In situ XANES measurements demonstrate that re-oxidation or transformation of the active iron phase, i.e. the Hägg carbide phase, was not a significant deactivation mechanism at the studied conditions. Sintering of Hägg carbide nanoparticles is significant with increasing temperatures and time on stream. The sintering mechanism is proposed to be a hydrothermally-assisted process. In situ DRIFTS indicates the presence of different carbon species on the catalyst surface such as aliphatic hydrocarbons from wax products and oxygenate compounds such as alcohols, aldehydes/ketones and carboxylate species. Carboxylate species are resistant towards hydrogenation at 280 °C. The presence of different carbon species on the surface after wax product extraction is evident from TPH-MS measurements. GC-MS analysis shows that the strongly adsorbed carbon species remaining on the catalyst surface from wax products are mainly α-olefins and branched carboxylic species. The interaction of oxygenate compounds, especially carboxylate species with iron oxide, may form stable complexes limiting further iron catalyst carburization. STEM-EDX analysis shows that carbon is preferentially located on iron particles.