Journal article

delta-Alumina supported cobalt catalysts promoted by ruthenium for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

The paper presents the low-temperature nitrogen adsorption, TG, XRD, IR spectroscopy, XPS, TEM and SEM data for ruthenium promoted (0.2-1 wt.%) Co-delta AI(2)O(3) catalysts and characteristics of the catalysts in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis after their activation under the conditions ensuring the reduction of comparable fractions of metallic cobalt. It was shown that cobalt in oxide precursors is a component of the spinel-like Co3-xAlxO4 phase containing the impurity anions CO32-, NO3-, OH-, and NO in promoted samples, which belong to the thermolysis product of the Ru precursor. Average sizes of Co3-xAlxO4 crystallites are in a range of 5-10 nm. As ruthenium content in the catalyst increases upon reduction, the temperature of metallic phase formation decreases substantially (by more than 150 degrees C). After the reduction, selectivity of promoted catalysts for alpha-olefins and high-molecular hydrocarbons was higher in comparison with unpromoted catalysts, without a noticeable decrease in catalytic activity. Therewith, in 0.5-1.0 wt.% catalysts, a part of ruthenium forms individual ultradispersed metallic particles ca. 1 nm in size that are located on the surface of oxide support and are not active in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The oxide layer decorating the surface of metallic cobalt particles is also strongly enriched with ruthenium. In the 0.2 wt.% catalyst, the major part of ruthenium resides in metallic cobalt particles. Although the ruthenium-cobalt alloy segregates with enrichment of the surface with cobalt, the presence of ruthenium in the metallic particles and probably in the decorating oxide layer exerts a considerable effect on selectivity of the catalysts.


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