Selectivity control of Cu promoted iron-based Fischer-Tropsch catalyst by tuning the oxidation state of Cu to mimic K
•Extent of Fe carburization was higher with CO versus syngas activation.•The CO activated catalyst was more active than the syngas activated catalyst.•The syngas-activated catalyst exhibited greater Cu1+ character.•Cu in the CO-activated catalyst was more reduced (more Cu-Cu metal coordination).•The Cu1+ in the syngas activated catalyst behaves like K1+ promoter.
The effect of activation gas on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) performance of copper and potassium promoted precipitated iron-based catalysts was investigated in an earlier study [Catal. Lett. 144 (2014) 1624-1635]. In that study, CO and syngas (H2/CO = 0.7) activation methods were tested after varying the copper promoter loading (0, 2, and 5%, atomic ratios relative to iron). At similar CO conversion level, the selectivities for the CO-activated catalysts were identical for the various copper loaded catalysts, whereas for the syngas activated catalysts, light hydrocarbon (methane and C2–C4) selectivities decreased and higher hydrocarbon (C5+) selectivities increased with increasing copper loading. To understand the reason for that behavior, the catalyst samples were characterized by XANES/EXAFS spectroscopy following each activation procedure before and after exposure to FTS conditions. Cu K-edge normalized XANES results indicate that for the syngas activated catalyst copper is present primarily in the Cu1+ state, whereas for CO activated catalyst the copper is more reduced (greater fraction in the Cu0 state). The Cu1+ in the syngas activated catalyst behaved like K1+; therefore, the C5+ selectivity was enhanced and light hydrocarbon selectivity was suppressed.
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Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 495, 5 April 2015, Pages 45–53