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Carbon Nanotubes as a Support for Fischer-Tropsch Catalysts

Abhaya Datye, Department of Chemical & Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC 01 1120, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, Neil J. Coville, School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, DST/NRF Centre for Excellence in Catalysis, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa, Mangesh T. Bore, Chemical & Nuclear Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC 01 1120, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, and Munga Bahome, Chemistry Department, University of the Witwatersrand, DST/NRF Centre for Excellence in Catalysis, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa.

Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) is recognized as a viable route for the conversion of syngas to liquid fuels (and chemicals). Fe/Cu/K2O/SiO2 catalysts have been used as commercial catalysts in the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. The use of iron-based catalysts in the FT reaction is attractive due to the good FTS activity as well as the water-gas shift reactivity of Fe. However, the support can have significant, detrimental, effects on the catalyst activity and selectivity. To reduce the metal-support interaction, we have studied carbon based materials as support. To date little work has been reported on the use of nanotubes in FT studies. We find that carbon nanotubes provide very interesting support materials for Fe catalysts in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.