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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2020, Volume 14, Issue 5 doi: 10.1007/s11705-019-1866-4

Controllable Fe/HCS catalysts in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis: Effects of crystallization time

Key Laboratory for Green Chemical Technology of Ministry of Education Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

Accepted: 2020-01-02 Available online:2020-01-02

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The Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS) continues to be an attractive alternative for producing a broad range of fuels and chemicals through the conversion of syngas (H and CO), which can be derived from various sources, such as coal, natural gas, and biomass. Among iron carbides, Fe C, as an active phase, has barely been studied due to its thermodynamic instability. Here, we fabricated a series of Fe C embedded in hollow carbon sphere (HCS) catalysts. By varying the crystallization time, the shell thickness of the HCS was manipulated, which significantly influenced the catalytic performance in the FTS. To investigate the relationship between the geometric structure of the HCS and the physic-chemical properties of Fe species, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, N physical adsorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, hydrogen temperature-programmed reduction, Raman spectroscopy, and Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques were employed to characterize the catalysts before and after the reaction. Evidently, a suitable thickness of the carbon layer was beneficial for enhancing the catalytic activity in the FTS due to its high porosity, appropriate electronic environment, and relatively high Fe C content.

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