Identification of efficient promoters and selectivity trends in high temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis over supported iron catalysts

In this work, 29 elements were evaluated as promoters for silica supported iron catalysts for high temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis using a high-throughput experimentation unit. The selected promoters include alkali/alkaline metals, transition metals, precious metals and lanthanides. Several general selectivity trends were observed and discussed. The selectivity enhancement to light olefins requires maintaining low selectivity to methane and light paraffins and at the same time, slowing the chain growth to the C5+ hydrocarbons. A major increase in Fischer-Tropsch rate principally due to higher intrinsic site activity, was observed over the catalysts promoted with metals with low melting points such as tin, antimony, bismuth and lead. These promoted catalysts also exhibited better stability. The effect of the promotion with tin and antimony on the olefin selectivity was not noticeable, while the presence of bismuth and lead results in the major enhancement of the selectivity to light olefins, lower methane and C2-C4 paraffin selectivities.