Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.56, No.10, 2733-2745, 2017
Effects of Catalyst Activity, Particle Size and Shape, and Process Conditions on Catalyst Effectiveness and Methane Selectivity for Fischer-Tropsch Reaction: A Modeling Study
We investigate effects of catalyst activity, catalyst particle shape (sphere, slab, and hollow cylinder), size (i.e., diffusion length), catalyst distribution (uniform vs eggshell type distribution for a spherical particle), and process conditions (temperature, pressure, syngas composition, and conversion level) on catalyst effectiveness factor and methane selectivity inside the catalyst pellet. In numerical simulations we utilize kinetic parameters for CO consumption rate and CH4 formation rate determined from experiments with a highly active Co/Re/gamma-Al2O3 catalyst. It is found that the use of small spherical particles (0.2-0.5 mm) or eggshell distribution for larger spherical particles with catalyst layer thickness less than approximately 0.13 mm is needed to avoid negative impact of diffusional limitations on CH4 selectivity under typical Fischer Tropsch synthesis operating conditions. For monolith reactors with wash-coated catalyst, diffusional limitations can be avoided by using a catalyst layer thickness less than 0.11 nun at base case conditions (473 K, 25 bar, and H-2/CO molar ratio of 2).