Investigation of C1+C1 coupling reactions in cobalt-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis by a combined DFT and kinetic isotope study
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Understanding the chain growth mechanism is of vital importance for the development of catalysts with enhanced selectivity towards long-chain products in cobalt-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Herein, we discriminate various C1 + C1 coupling reactions by theoretical calculations and kinetic isotope experiments. CHx(x=0−3), CO, HCO, COH, and HCOH are considered as the chain growth monomer respectively, and 24 possible coupling reactions are first investigated by theoretical calculations. Eight possible C1 + C1 coupling reactions are suggested to be energetically favorable because of the relative low reaction barriers. Moreover, five pathways are excluded where the C1 monomers show low thermodynamic stability. Effective chain propagation rates are calculated by deconvoluting from reaction rates of products, and an inverse kinetic isotope effect of the C1 + C1 coupling reaction is observed. The theoretical kinetic isotope effect of CO + CH2 is inverse, which is consistent with the experimental observation. Thus, the CO + CH2 pathway, owing to the relatively lower barrier, the high thermodynamic stability, and the inverse kinetic isotope effect, is suggested to be a favorable pathway.