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Dr. Martin Oschatz, Dr. Jan P. Hofmann, Tom W. van Deelen, Wouter S. Lamme, Nynke A. Krans, Prof. Dr. Emiel J. M. Hensen, Prof. Dr. Krijn P. de Jong, Chem Cat Chem Catalysis 2017, 9 (4), 620-628.
Ordered mesoporous carbon (CMK-3) with different surface modifications is applied as a support for Fe-based catalysts in the Fischer–Tropsch to olefins synthesis (FTO) with and without sodium and sulfur promoters. Different concentrations of functional groups do not affect the size (3–5 nm) of Fe particles in the fresh catalysts but iron (carbide) supported on N-enriched CMK-3 and a support with a lower concentration of functional groups show higher catalytic activity under industrially relevant FTO conditions (340 °C, 10 bar, H2/CO=2) compared to a support with an O-enriched surface. The addition of promoters leads to more noticeable enhancements of the catalytic activity (3–5 times higher) and the selectivity to C2–C4 olefins (≈2 times higher) than surface functionalization of the support. Nitrogen surface functionalization and removal of surface groups before impregnation and calcination, however, further increase the activity of the catalysts in the presence of promoters. The confinement of the Fe nanoparticles in the mesopores of CMK-3 restricts but does not fully prevent particle growth and, consequently, the decrease of activity under FTO conditions.