Hydrophobic Catalyst Support Surfaces by Silylation of γ-Alumina for Co/Re Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCatalysis Today. 2018, 299 20-27. 10.1016/j.cattod.2017.04.031
Eight different silanes with chloro or methoxy active ligands have been examined to modify the surface of a standard γ-alumina support to investigate the effect of surface acidity and hydrophobicity in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) at common operating conditions (210 °C; 20 bar; H2/CO = 2.1). Silanes were impregnated prior to cobalt (Pre) or after cobalt impregnation and calcination (Post). Samples were characterized by standard techniques (FTIR, XRD, TPD, TPR, TGA, BET). In the Post series, cobalt crystallite size is maintained, while it is reduced when cobalt impregnation is performed on a partly hydrophobic surface. Both series of catalysts have FTS performances that deviate significantly from a reference catalyst and, in combination with characterization data, the silanes have modified all the 15 examined catalysts. The Pre series offer options for improved selectivity to higher hydrocarbons in FTS. The effects of silylation on FT performance mechanisms are discussed in terms of gas diffusion limitations, strain in cobalt particles and partial blocking of CO activation sites.