Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Metal-support interfacial contact governs oxygenates selectivity over CeO2 supported Pt-Co catalysts

Muthu Kumaran Gnanamani, Mauro C. Ribeiro, Wenping Ma, Wilson D. Shafer, Gary Jacobs, Uschi M. Graham, Burtron H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The catalytic performance during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) of Pt promoted Co/CeO2 catalysts at two different cobalt metal loadings was investigated using a slurry-phase reactor. CeO2 supported Pt-Co catalysts exhibit higher selectivities to oxygenates and especially linear alcohols (14.8%) at lower cobalt loadings. A plausible pathway for the formation of alcohols was proposed based on Co-CeO2 interfacial catalysis, in which termination of chain growth occurs at the metal-oxide junction and involves bridging OH groups on partially reduced ceria. As cobalt content increases, the selectivity to oxygenates decreases. The resulting increase in cobalt metal particle size accelerates the mechanism involving normal FT termination, since the on-top surface area of cobalt increase at the expense of the interfacial area at the junction with ceria. Compared to γ-Al 2O3, CeO2 supported Pt-Co catalysts exhibit significantly higher oxygenates at similar CO conversions. Selectivity control is thus achieved by controlling the surface fugacity of bridging OH groups (i.e., located on ceria) in contact with cobalt sites on a per Co surface atom basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work carried out at the CAER was supported in part by funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky . We would also like to thank Shelley Hopps for her assistance with XRD experiments.


  • Alcohol synthesis
  • Ceria
  • Cobalt catalyst
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
  • Noble metal
  • Oxygenates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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