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A Breakthrough in the Field of Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Research

 Research

 

Recently, Professor Li Xingang and his team from the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology at Tianjin University together with Professor Noritatsu Tsubaki from the University of Toyama achieved a breakthrough in the field of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis research.

Li Xingang's team published an academic paper entitled "Confined small-sized cobalt catalysts stimulate carbon-chain growth reversely modifying the ASF law of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis" in Nature Communications, a sub-publication of Nature. Cheng Qingpeng and Tian Ye, Ph.D. students from the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology at Tianjin University, were the co-first authors of the paper. Professor Li Xingang and Noritatsu Tsubaki were the co-corresponding authors.

The Li Xingang team designed and developed a kind of Co/SiO2 catalyst with a “watermelon” structure, which precisely controlled the cobalt grain size and prevented the agglomeration and sintering of cobalt during the reaction through the structure confinement effect. They successfully tuned the selectivity of the FTS products from the diesel fraction (66.2%) to the gasoline fraction (62.4%) by controlling the crystallite sizes from 7.2 to 11.4 nm of the confined cobalt catalysts. The above results break the limitations of ASF distributions without the secondary reaction and it is an important breakthrough in the field of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. At the same time, the author's research results broke with traditional theory.

The price of cobalt on the international market is very high at present. However, due to the successful development of small-sized cobalt catalysts, the use of cobalt in the catalyst will be reduced, cobalt resources will be saved and the industrial cost will also be reduced. More importantly, the small-sized cobalt catalysts will also play an important role in promoting the sustainable development of China's energy and resources.

This is the flow chart of the precise regulation of a Fischer-Tropsch synthesis product distribution by controlling the cobalt grain size of Co/SiO2 catalysts.

Nature Communications 9 (2018) 3250

Original linkhttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05755-8\

By: Mei Han
Editors: Sun Xiaofang and Ross Colquhoun