Mobility and versatility of the liquid bismuth promoter in the working iron catalysts for light olefin synthesis from syngas.
ABSTRACT: Liquid metals are a new emerging and rapidly growing class of materials and can be considered as efficient promoters and active phases for heterogeneous catalysts for sustainable processes. Because of low cost, high selectivity and flexibility, iron-based catalysts are the catalysts of choice for light olefin synthesis via Fischer-Tropsch reaction. Promotion of iron catalysts supported by carbon nanotubes with bismuth, which is liquid under the reaction conditions, results in a several fold increase in the reaction rate and in a much higher light olefin selectivity. In order to elucidate the spectacular enhancement of the catalytic performance, we conducted extensive in-depth characterization of the bismuth-promoted iron catalysts under the reacting gas and reaction temperatures by a combination of cutting-edge in situ techniques: in situ scanning transmission electron microscopy, near-atmospheric pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and in situ X-ray adsorption near edge structure. In situ scanning transmission electron microscopy conducted under atmospheric pressure of carbon monoxide at the temperature of catalyst activation showed iron sintering proceeding via the particle migration and coalescence mechanism. Catalyst activation in carbon monoxide and in syngas leads to liquid bismuth metallic species, which readily migrate over the catalyst surface with the formation of larger spherical bismuth droplets and iron-bismuth core-shell structures. In the working catalysts, during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, metallic bismuth located at the interface of iron species undergoes continuous oxidation and reduction cycles, which facilitate carbon monoxide dissociation and result in the substantial increase in the reaction rate.
Project description:While cobalt-based catalysts have been used in industrial Fischer-Tropsch synthesis for decades, little is known about how the dynamics of the Co-Co<sub>2</sub>C phase transformation drive their performance. Here we report on the occurrence of hysteresis effects in the Fischer-Tropsch reaction over potassium promoted Co/MnO<sub>x</sub> catalyst. Both the reaction rate and the selectivity to chain-lengthened paraffins and terminally functionalized products (aldehydes, alcohols, olefins) show bistability when varying the hydrogen/carbon monoxide partial pressures back and forth from overall reducing to carbidizing conditions. While the carbon monoxide conversion and the selectivity to functionalized products follow clockwise hysteresis, the selectivity to paraffins shows counter-clockwise behavior. In situ X-ray diffraction demonstrates the activity/selectivity bistability to be driven by a Co-Co<sub>2</sub>C phase transformation. The conclusions are supported by High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy which identifies the Co-Co<sub>2</sub>C transformation, Mn<sub>5</sub>O<sub>8</sub> layered topologies at low H<sub>2</sub>/CO partial pressure ratios, and MnO at high such ratios.
Project description:Facile C-C bond formation is essential to the formation of long hydrocarbon chains in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Various chain growth mechanisms have been proposed previously, but spectroscopic identification of surface intermediates involved in C-C bond formation is scarce. We here show that the high CO coverage typical of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis affects the reaction pathways of C2Hx adsorbates on a Co(0001) model catalyst and promote C-C bond formation. In-situ high resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows that a high CO coverage promotes transformation of C2Hx adsorbates into the ethylidyne form, which subsequently dimerizes to 2-butyne. The observed reaction sequence provides a mechanistic explanation for CO-induced ethylene dimerization on supported cobalt catalysts. For Fischer-Tropsch synthesis we propose that C-C bond formation on the close-packed terraces of a cobalt nanoparticle occurs via methylidyne (CH) insertion into long chain alkylidyne intermediates, the latter being stabilized by the high surface coverage under reaction conditions.
Project description:The development of efficient catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis, a core reaction in the utilization of non-petroleum carbon resources to supply energy and chemicals, has attracted much recent attention. ?-Iron carbide (?-Fe<sub>2</sub>C) was proposed as the most active iron phase for FT synthesis, but this phase is generally unstable under realistic FT reaction conditions (> 523?K). Here, we succeed in stabilizing pure-phase ?-Fe<sub>2</sub>C nanocrystals by confining them into graphene layers and obtain an iron-time yield of 1258??mol<sub>CO</sub> g<sub>Fe</sub><sup>-1</sup>s<sup>-1</sup> under realistic FT synthesis conditions, one order of magnitude higher than that of the conventional carbon-supported Fe catalyst. The ?-Fe<sub>2</sub>C@graphene catalyst is stable at least for 400?h under high-temperature conditions. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal the feasible formation of ?-Fe<sub>2</sub>C by carburization of ?-Fe precursor through interfacial interactions of ?-Fe<sub>2</sub>C@graphene. This work provides a promising strategy to design highly active and stable Fe-based FT catalysts.
Project description:The Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis converts synthesis gas from alternative carbon resources, including natural gas, coal, and biomass, to hydrocarbons used as fuels or chemicals. In particular, iron-based catalysts at elevated temperatures favor the selective production of C2-C4 olefins, which are important building blocks for the chemical industry. Bulk iron catalysts (with promoters) were conventionally used, but these deactivate due to either phase transformation or carbon deposition resulting in disintegration of the catalyst particles. For supported iron catalysts, iron particle growth may result in loss of catalytic activity over time. In this work, the effects of promoters and particle size on the stability of supported iron nanoparticles (initial sizes of 3-9 nm) were investigated at industrially relevant conditions (340 °C, 20 bar, H2/CO = 1). Upon addition of sodium and sulfur promoters to iron nanoparticles supported on carbon nanofibers, initial catalytic activities were high, but substantial deactivation was observed over a period of 100 h. In situ Mössbauer spectroscopy revealed that after 20 h time-on-stream, promoted catalysts attained 100% carbidization, whereas for unpromoted catalysts, this was around 25%. In situ carbon deposition studies were carried out using a tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM). No carbon laydown was detected for the unpromoted catalysts, whereas for promoted catalysts, carbon deposition occurred mainly over the first 4 h and thus did not play a pivotal role in deactivation over 100 h. Instead, the loss of catalytic activity coincided with the increase in Fe particle size to 20-50 nm, thereby supporting the proposal that the loss of active Fe surface area was the main cause of deactivation.
Project description:Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of lower olefins (FTO) is a classical yet modern topic of great significance in which the supported Fe-based nanoparticles are the most promising catalysts. The performance deterioration of catalysts is a big challenge due to the instability of the nanosized active phase of iron carbides. Herein, by in situ mass spectrometry, theoretical analysis, and atmospheric- and high-pressure experimental examinations, we revealed the Ostwald-ripening-like growth mechanism of the active phase of iron carbides in FTO, which involves the cyclic formation-decomposition of iron carbonyl intermediates to transport iron species from small particles to large ones. Accordingly, by suppressing the formation of iron carbonyl species with a high-N-content carbon support, the size and structure of the active phase were regulated and stabilized, and durable iron-based catalysts were conveniently obtained with the highest selectivity for lower olefins up to 54.1%. This study provides a practical strategy for exploring advanced FTO catalysts.
Project description:Colloidal synthesis routes have been recently used to fabricate heterogeneous catalysts with more controllable and homogeneous properties. Herein a method was developed to modify the surface composition of colloidal nanocrystal catalysts and to purposely introduce specific atoms via ligands and change the catalyst reactivity. Organic ligands adsorbed on the surface of iron oxide catalysts were exchanged with inorganic species such as Na2S, not only to provide an active surface but also to introduce controlled amounts of Na and S acting as promoters for the catalytic process. The catalyst composition was optimized for the Fischer-Tropsch direct conversion of synthesis gas into lower olefins. At industrially relevant conditions, these nanocrystal-based catalysts with controlled composition were more active, selective, and stable than catalysts with similar composition but synthesized using conventional methods, possibly due to their homogeneity of properties and synergic interaction of iron and promoters.
Project description:Using model catalysts with well-defined particle sizes and morphologies to elucidate questions regarding catalytic activity and stability has gained more interest, particularly utilizing colloidally prepared metal(oxide) particles. Here, colloidally synthesized iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe x O y -NPs, size ?7 nm) on either a titania (Fe x O y /TiO2) or a silica (Fe x O y /SiO2) support were studied. These model catalyst systems showed excellent activity in the Fischer-Tropsch to olefin (FTO) reaction at high pressure. However, the Fe x O y /TiO2 catalyst deactivated more than the Fe x O y /SiO2 catalyst. After analyzing the used catalysts, it was evident that the Fe x O y -NP on titania had grown to 48 nm, while the Fe x O y -NP on silica was still 7 nm in size. STEM-EDX revealed that the growth of Fe x O y /TiO2 originated mainly from the hydrogen reduction step and only to a limited extent from catalysis. Quantitative STEM-EDX measurements indicated that at a reduction temperature of 350 °C, 80% of the initial iron had dispersed over and into the titania as iron species below imaging resolution. The Fe/Ti surface atomic ratios from XPS measurements indicated that the iron particles first spread over the support after a reduction temperature of 300 °C followed by iron oxide particle growth at 350 °C. Mössbauer spectroscopy showed that 70% of iron was present as Fe2+, specifically as amorphous iron titanates (FeTiO3), after reduction at 350 °C. The growth of iron nanoparticles on titania is hypothesized as an Ostwald ripening process where Fe2+ species diffuse over and through the titania support. Presynthesized nanoparticles on SiO2 displayed structural stability, as only ?10% iron silicates were formed and particles kept the same size during in situ reduction, carburization, and FTO catalysis.
Project description:Nitrogenase cofactors can be extracted into an organic solvent to catalyze the reduction of cyanide (CN(-)), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) without using adenosine triphosphate (ATP), when samarium(II) iodide (SmI2) and 2,6-lutidinium triflate (Lut-H) are employed as a reductant and a proton source, respectively. Driven by SmI2, the cofactors catalytically reduce CN(-) or CO to C1-C4 hydrocarbons, and CO2 to CO and C1-C3 hydrocarbons. The C-C coupling from CO2 indicates a unique Fischer-Tropsch-like reaction with an atypical carbonaceous substrate, whereas the catalytic turnover of CN(-), CO, and CO2 by isolated cofactors suggests the possibility to develop nitrogenase-based electrocatalysts for the production of hydrocarbons from these carbon-containing compounds.
Project description:Using colloidal iron oxide nanoparticles with organic ligands, anchored in a separate step from the supports, has been shown to be beneficial to obtain homogeneously distributed metal particles with a narrow size distribution. Literature indicates that promoting these particles with sodium and sulfur creates an active Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to produce olefins, while further adding an H-ZSM-5 zeolite is an effective way to obtain aromatics. This research focused on the promotion of iron oxide colloids with sodium and sulfur using an inorganic ligand exchange followed by the attachment to H-ZSM-5 zeolite crystals. The catalyst referred to as FeP/Z, which consists of iron particles with inorganic ligands attached to a H-ZSM-5 catalyst, was compared to an unpromoted Fe/Z catalyst and an Fe/Z-P catalyst, containing the colloidal nanoparticles with organic ligands, promoted after attachment. A low CO conversion was observed on both FeP/Z and Fe/Z-P, originating from an overpromotion effect for both catalysts. However, when both promoted catalysts were washed (FeP/Z-W and Fe/Z-P-W) to remove the excess of promoters, the activity was much higher. Fe/Z-P-W simultaneously achieved low selectivity toward methane as part of the promoters were still present after washing, whereas for FeP/Z-W the majority of promoters was removed upon washing, which increased the methane selectivity. Moreover, due to the addition of Na+S promoters, the iron nanoparticles in the FeP/Z(-W) catalysts had grown considerably during catalysis, while those in Fe/Z-P(-W) and Fe/Z(-W) remained relatively stable. Lastly, as a large broadening of particle sizes for the used FeP/Z-W was found, where particle sizes had both increased and decreased, Ostwald ripening is suggested for particle growth accelerated by the presence of the promoters.
Project description:The development of a low cost and highly active alternative to the commercial Pt/C catalysts used in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) requires a facile and environmentally-friendly synthesis process to facilitate large-scale production and provide an effective replacement. Transition metals, in conjunction with nitrogen-doped carbon, are among the most promising substitute catalysts because of their high activity, inexpensive composition, and high carbon monoxide tolerance. We prepared a polyaniline-derived Fe-N-C catalyst for oxygen reduction using a facile one-pot process with no additional reagents. This process was carried out by ultrasonicating a mixture containing an iron precursor, an aniline monomer, and carbon black. The half-wave potential of the synthesized Fe-N-C catalyst for the ORR was only 10?mV less than that of a commercial Pt/C catalyst. The optimized Fe-N-C catalyst showed outstanding performance in a practical anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC), suggesting its potential as an alternative to commercial Pt/C catalysts for the ORR.