293533 Fischer-Tropsch Cobalt Catalyst Improvements with the Presence of

Tuesday, April 30, 2013: 2:00 PM
Crockett A/B (Grand Hyatt San Antonio)
Jennifer L. Klettlinger, Combustion Branch, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of titanium oxide, lanthanum oxide, and zirconium oxide on alumina supported cobalt catalysts. The hypothesis was that the presence of lanthanum oxide, titanium oxide, and zirconium oxide would reduce the interaction between cobalt and the alumina support. This was of interest because an optimized weakened interaction could lead to the most advantageous cobalt dispersion, particle size, and reducibility.    The presence of these oxides on the support were investigated using a wide range of characterization techniques such as SEM, nitrogen adsorption, x-ray diffraction (XRD), temperature programmed reduction (TPR), temperature programmed reduction after reduction (TPR-AR), and hydrogen chemisorptions/pulse reoxidation. Results indicated that both La2O3 and TiO2 doped supports facilitated the reduction of cobalt oxide species in reference to pure alumina supported cobalt catalysts, however further investigation is needed to determine the effect of ZrO2 on the reduction profile. Results showed an increased corrected cluster size for all three doped supported catalysts in comparison to their reference catalysts. The increase in reduction and an increase in the cluster size led to the conclusion that the support-metal interaction weakened by the addition of TiO2 and La2O3. It is also
likely that the interaction decreased upon presence of ZrO2 on the alumina, but iii
further research is necessary. Preliminary results have indicated that the alumina- supported catalysts with titanium oxide and lanthanum oxide present are of interest because of the weakened cobalt support interaction. These catalysts showed an increased extent of reduction, therefore more metallic cobalt is present on the support. However, whether or not there is more cobalt available to participate in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis reaction (cobalt surface atoms) depends also on the cluster size. On one hand, increasing cluster size alone tends to decrease the active site density; on the other hand, by increasing the size of the cobalt clusters, there is less likelihood of forming oxidized cobalt complexes (cobalt aluminate) during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Thus, from the standpoint of stability, improving the extent of reduction while increasing the particle size slightly may be beneficial for maintaining the sites, even if there is a slight decrease in overall initial active site density.

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