Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mondal, Kanchan

Abstract

With increasing oil prices and attention towards the reduction of anthropogenic CO2, the use of supercritical carbon dioxide for Fischer Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) is showing promise in fulfilling the demand of clean liquid fuels. The evidence of consumption of carbon dioxide means that it need not to be removed from the syngas feed to the Fischer Tropsch reactor after the gasification process. Over the last five years, research at SIUC have shown that FTS in supercritical CO2 reduces the selectivities for methane, enhances conversion, reduces the net CO2 produces in the coal to liquid fuels process and increase the life of the catalyst. The research has already evaluated the impact of various operating and feed conditions on the FTS for the once through process. We believe that the integration of unreacted feed recycle would enhance conversion, increase the yield and throughput of liquid fuels for the same reactor size. The proposed research aims at evaluating the impact of recycle of the unreacted feed gas along with associated product gases on the performance of supercritical CO2 FTS. The previously identified conditions will be utilized and various recycle ratios will be evaluated in this research once the recycle pump and associated fittings have been integrated to the supercritical CO2 FTS. In this research two different catalysts (Fe-Zn-K, Fe-Co-Zn-K) were analyzed under SC-FTS in different recycle rate at 350oC and 1200 psi. The use of recycle was found to improve conversion from 80% to close to 100% with both catalysts. The experiment recycle rate at 4.32 and 4.91 was clearly surpassing theoretical recycle curve. The steady state reaction rate constant was increased to 0.65 and 0.8 min-1 for recycle rate of 4.32 and 4.91 respectively. Carbon dioxide selectivity was decreased for both catalyst as it was converting to carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide consumption was increased from 0.014 to 0.034 mole fraction. This concluded that CO2 is being used in the system and converting which created the concentration of the feed gas higher inside the reactor. The research has provided the best conditions for the enhanced conversion while minimizing CO2 formation. Though this research was not able to provide the optimal recycle rate it have created the path for the future research to proceed in the right direction. This reduction and utilization of CO2 will help to reduce the cost of carbon dioxide removal and saves the environment from carbon dioxide emission.

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