- 2:40 PM

Modifications of Fischer-Tropsch Product Distribution in Modular Reactor Systems

Jim Bucher and Johannes Schwank. Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2300 Hayward, 3085 H H Dow, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


            A synthetic fuels program using energy resources more abundant than petroleum presents a potential solution to the impending crude oil shortage.  The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis has the capability of producing such fuels by converting coal or biomass derived synthesis gas into hydrocarbons.  As currently performed in industry, the reaction generates a wide spectrum of hydrocarbons that require further refining to attain the desired products.             The research described here aims to narrow the selectivity of the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to products in the gasoline and diesel ranges, namely C8 to C16 hydrocarbons.  The approach to accomplish this is based on novel reaction engineering schemes and modifications in catalyst composition.  The experimental design for this research employs two or more plug flow reactors in series.  Reaction variables that are used in an attempt to shift the Fischer-Tropsch product distributions include temperature, and downstream co-fed species, and catalyst type. Concepts such as electrochemical catalyst promotion and atom transfer radical polymerization will be discussed.