280003 Poisoning of a Silica Supported Cobalt Catalyst Due to the Presence of Sulfur Impurities in Syngas During Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: Effect of Chelating Agent

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 4:55 PM
315 (Convention Center )
Ashish S. Bambal1,2, Todd H. Gardner2, Edwin L. Kugler1,2 and Dady B. Dadyburjor1,2, (1)Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, (2)National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown, WV

Sulfur compounds that are generally found in syngas derived from coal and biomass are a poison to Fischer-Tropsch (FT) catalysts. The presence of sulfur impurities in the ppm range can limit the life of a FT catalyst to a few hours or a few days. In this study, FT synthesis was carried out in a fixed-bed reactor at 230 °C, 20 bar, and 13,500 Ncm3/h/gcat for 72 h using syngas with H2/CO = 2.0. Cobalt-based catalysts were subjected to poisoning by 10 and 50 ppm sulfur in the syngas. The performance of FT catalyst was compared in context of syngas conversion, product selectivities and yields, during the poisoning as well as post-poisoning stages. At both the impurity concentrations, the sulfur was noted to cause permanent loss in the activity, possibly by adsorbing irreversibly on the surface. The sulfur poison affects the hydrogenation and the chain-propagation ability of the catalysts, and shifts the product selectivity towards short-chain hydrocarbons with higher percentages of olefins. Additional diffusion limitations caused due to sulfur poisoning are thought to alter the product selectivity. The shifts in product selectivities suggest that the sulfur decreases the ability of the catalyst to form C-C bonds to produce longer-chain hydrocarbons. The selective blocking of sulfur is thought to affect the hydrogenation ability on the catalyst, resulting in more olefins in the product after sulfur poisoning. The sulfur poisoning on the cobalt catalyst is expected to cause an increase in the number of sites responsible for WGS or to influence the Boudouard reaction, resulting in a higher CO2 selectivity. Both the sites responsible for CO adsorptions as well as the sites for chain growth are poisoned during the poisoning. Additionally, the performance of a base-case cobalt catalyst is compared with that of catalysts modified by chelating agents (CAs). The superior performance of CA-modified catalysts during sulfur poisoning is attributed to the presence of smaller crystallite sizes and higher dispersions of cobalt on the support. Finally, the sulfur deactivation data is modeled by a simple kinetic expression to determine the deactivation constant, deactivation rates and half-life of the FT catalyst.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Catalyst Deactivation I
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division