Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Engineering Science

First Advisor

Wiltowski, Tomasz

Abstract

The research determined that the improved heat transfer characteristics of a fluidized bed reactor (FBR) will allow the use of cobalt catalyst for high temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (HTFT). Cobalt was loaded onto a gamma alumina support, the catalyst was characterized using TPR, BET/BJH, XRD, and PSA to track changes in the catalyst morphology. The reactor was characterized to determine the minimum fluidization velocity and the maximum velocity prior to entering lean phase fluidization with pneumatic transport of the catalyst. The highest minimum fluidization velocity was found to be about 2800 sccm, there was no maximum velocity found for the reactor setup. Once characterized, the reactor was operated at pressures of 145, 217.6, and 290.1 psig, a syngas flow rate of 4000 sccm, and at temperatures of 330 and 350 °C. The optimal conditions found in this study were 330 °C and 217 psig. At these conditions CO conversion was 83.53 % for a single pass. Methane, CO2, and light gases (C2 - C4) selectivities were at low rates of 31.43, 5.80, and 3.48 % respectively. Alcohol selectivity at these conditions was non-existent. The olefin and wax selectivities were the lowest of the data set at 7.05 and 3.18 % respectively. Liquid transportation fuels selectivity was the highest at 56.11 %.

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