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Title: Direct Conversion of Syngas-to-Hydrocarbons over Higher Alcohols Synthesis Catalysts Mixed with HZSM-5

The synthesis of hydrocarbon fuels directly from synthesis gas (i.e. one step process) was investigated with a catalytic system comprised of HZSM-5 physically mixed with either a methanol synthesis catalyst or a higher alcohols synthesis (HAS) catalyst. The metal sites of the methanol or HAS synthesis catalyst enable the conversion of syngas to alcohols, whereas HZSM-5 provides acid sites required for methanol dehydration, and dimethyl ether-to-hydrocarbons reactions. Catalytic performance for HZSM-5 when mixed with either a 5 wt.% Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 methanol synthesis catalyst or a HAS catalyst was evaluated at 300°C, 70 bars, GHSV=700 h-1 and H2/CO=1 using a HZSM-5: alcohols synthesis catalyst weight ratio of 3:1. The major difference observed between the methanol synthesis and HAS catalyst mixtures was found in the production of durene which is an undesirable byproduct. While durene formation is negligible with any of the HAS catalysts mixed with the HZSM-5 evaluated in this study, it represents almost 50% of the C5+ fraction for the methanol synthesis catalyst (5 wt.% Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 ) mixed with HZSM-5. This presents an advantage for using HAS catalysts over the methanol synthesis catalyst to minimize the durene by-product. The yield toward the desired C5+ hydrocarbons is thus twice higher with selectedmore » HAS catalysts as compared to when HZSM-5 is mixed with 5 wt.% Pd/ZnO/Al2O3. Among all the HAS catalysts evaluated in this study, a catalyst with 0.5 wt.% Pd/FeCoCu catalyst was found the most promising due to higher production of C5+ hydrocarbons and low durene formation. The efficiency of the one-step process was thus further evaluated using the HZSM-5: 0.5 wt.% Pd/FeCoCu catalyst mixture under a number of process conditions to maximize liquid hydrocarbons product yield. At 300oC, 70 bars, GHSV = 700 h-1 and HZSM-5: 0.5 wt.% Pd/FeCoCu = 3:1 (wt.), the C5+ fraction represents 48.5% of the hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to achieve higher selectivity to desired C5+ hydrocarbons as the formation of CO2, CH4, and other light hydrocarbons is challenging to suppress in the presence of mixed metal and acid sites. When the 0.5 wt.% Pd/FeCoCu and HZSM-5 are operated sequentially by way of a two-step process the C5+ hydrocarbons fraction is lower and represents 30.4% of the hydrocarbons under comparable conditions. The yield toward the C5+ hydrocarbons is twice higher for the one-step process due to an improved CO conversion and higher C5+ hydrocarbons fraction. The main advantage of the one-step process is that higher syngas conversion can be achieved as the equilibrium-driven conversion limitations for methanol and dimethyl ether are removed since they are intermediates to the final hydrocarbons product.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 53(36):13928-13934
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Syngas; fuel; higher alcohol synthesis catalyst; alcohols-to-hydrocarbons; gas-to liquids