Fischer-Tropsch Conversion of Wyoming Derived Syngas Using a Small Channel Reactor for Improving Efficiency and Limiting Emissions

  • Davis, Burtron (PI)
  • Jacobs, Gary (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The proposal is to assess a novel small channel Fischer-Tropsch synthesis reactor with improved mass and heat transfer characteristics for its application with iron-based catalysts tailored to convert Wyoming coal-derived syngas. Moreover, we will assess the unit for FT testing of a potential Ag-promoted cobalt catalyst aimed at converting syngas derived from natural gas, as found in abundance in Wyoming’s coal seams. The reactor will be purchased in the first year and experiments conducted over a 3-year period to compare its performance relative to conventional slurry reactors. These data will allow us to decide whether the small channel reactor can be utilized effectively and how closely they approach idealized reactor performance. As iron catalysts possess internal water-gas shift activity, they are well-suited for FT synthesis when the H2/CO ratio is low, as with coal and biomass derived syngas. To date, iron catalysts have yet to be tested in a small channel reactor. Thus, the first objective is to improve the coal-to-liquids productivity using the combination of a novel reactor with an optimized iron catalyst formulation. Desired end products include transportation fuels (especially diesel and jet fuels) and chemicals (e.g., olefins, oxygenates, lubricants, and waxes). Cobalt catalysts, on the other hand, are well-suited for converting natural gas from coal seams to products that can be upgraded to premium transportation fuels and chemicals. One aim is to assess the feasibility of replacing expensive Pt promoter in typical catalysts by Ag. Sulfur compounds from gasification will be present in concentrations that may significantly and deleteriously impact catalyst activity. Thus, establishing the tolerance of catalysts to contaminants such as H2S, COS, and CS2 is important. Finally, mechanistic investigations aimed at improving yields of valuable oxygenate products will be conducted using isotopic tracers.
Effective start/end date12/1/1211/30/15


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