Publication Utrecht University

Vitaly V.Ordomsky, Alexander Carvalho, Benoit Legras, Sébastien Paul, Mirella Virginie, Vitaly L. Sushkevich, Andrei Y. Khodakov, Catalysis Today 2016, 15, 84-93.

The performance of supported cobalt and iron catalysts in low and high temperature Fischer–Tropsch synthesis was investigated in the presence of small amounts of ammonia in syngas. Ammonia was co-fed to the reactor either by in-situ hydrolysis of acetonitrile or by addition of aqueous ammonia.

The addition of acetonitrile and ammonia resulted in significant irreversible deactivation of alumina supported cobalt catalysts. Lower methane and higher C5+ hydrocarbon selectivities were observed. Iron based catalysts did not show any noticeable deactivation in the presence of acetonitrile or ammonia. Moreover, Fischer–Tropsch reaction rate slightly increased after addition of the nitrogen-containing compounds to silica and alumina supported samples. Lower methane selectivity and higher C2–C4 olefin to paraffin ratio were observed in the presence of ammonia when the catalysts were reduced in hydrogen. Iron catalysts activated in carbon monoxide did not demonstrate any significant effect of ammonia on the selectivity. The catalytic data were explained by irreversible formation of inactive cobalt nitrides in cobalt catalysts and transformation of metallic iron and iron oxides in the presence of acetonitrile and ammonia into iron nitrides and iron carbides active in Fischer–Tropsch synthesis.

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