Effect of Process Conditions on Olefin Selectivity during Conventional and Supercritical Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis

Dragomir B. Bukur, Xiaosu Lang, Aydin Akgerman, Zhentao Feng

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A precipitated iron catalyst (100 Fe/5 Cu/4.2 K/25 SiO2 on mass basis) was tested in a fixed-bed reactor under a variety of process conditions during conventional Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) and supercritical Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (SFTS). In both modes of operation it was found that: total olefin content decreases whereas 2-olefin content increases with either increase in conversion or H2/CO molar feed ratio. Total olefin and 2-olefin selectivities were essentially independent of reaction temperature. The effect of conversion was more pronounced during conventional FTS. Comparison of olefin selectivities in the two modes of operation reveals that total olefin content is greater while the 2-olefin content is smaller during SFTS. Also, both the decrease in total olefin content and the increase in 2-olefin content with increase in carbon number (i.e. molecular weight of hydrocarbon products) was significantly less pronounced during SFTS in comparison to the conventional FTS. The obtained results suggest that 1-olefins, and to a smaller extent n-paraffins, are the primary products of FTS. Secondary reactions (isomerization, hydrogenation, and readsorption) of high molecular weight α-olefins occur to a smaller extent during SFTS, due to higher diffusivities and desorption rates of α-olefins in the supercritical propane than in the liquid-filled catalyst pores (conventional FTS).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2580-2587
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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