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A bi-functional catalyst enables one-step, ‘tunable’ F-T synthesis of liquid fuels

By Tetsuo Satoh |

An integrated catalytic process for the direct, Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) conversion of synthesis gas (syngas) into different types of liquid fuels, without subsequent hydro-refining post-treatments of F-T waxes, has been developed by the research group of professor Noritatsu Tsubaki at the University of Toyama (Japan; www.u-toyama.ac.jp), in collaboration with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Chinese University. Selectivities for gasoline (74%), jet fuel (72%) and diesel fuel (58%) have been achieved using mesoporous Y-type zeolites with a precisely controlled steric nanostructure, mesoporous structure and acidity distribution, in combination with 10-nm-dia. cobalt nanoparticles and 0.4-nm-dia. lanthanum particles. The researchers were able to reduce the amount of the rare-earth metals to one third the amount needed by previous efforts. The types of liquid fuels produced can be readily tuned by controlling the porosity and acid properties of the zeolites. Also, a new product-distribution model was constructed for the bifunctional catalysts, which do not obey the traditional Anderson–Schulz–Flory (ASF) distribution. In addition to providing a simple, direct method for synthesizing different types of liquid fuels,…
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