Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Effect of ammonia impurities in syngas feed over a cobalt/alumina catalyst

Venkat Ramana Rao Pendyala, Muthu Kumaran Gnanamani, Gary Jacobs, Wenping Ma, Wilson D. Shafer, Burtron H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The effect of co-fed ammonia in syngas on the performance of a traditional cobalt catalyst (platinum promoted cobalt/alumina) was investigated during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) using a continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The addition of 1, 10, 100, and 1200 ppmw (concentration of ammonia with respect to the syngas feed) of ammonia resulted in significant irreversible deactivation of the catalyst under identical reaction conditions. The percentage of deactivation was almost constant (±5%) at all the concentrations (1-1200 ppmw) of ammonia exposure. The addition of ammonia (either NH 3 gas or aqueous NH4OH) particularly at higher concentrations exhibits lower methane selectivity compared to ammonia-free synthesis conditions. This enhancement in C5+ hydrocarbon formation may be attributed to the selective poisoning of metallic cobalt sites by addition of ammonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work carried out at the CAER was supported by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and DOE grant (DE-FC26-08NT0006368).


  • Ammonia Product selectivity
  • Cobalt/alumina catalyst
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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