Applied Catalysis A: General, Vol.138, No.2, 319-344, 1996
Practical and Theoretical Aspects of the Catalytic Fischer-Tropsch Process
The development, current status as well as the future of the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process is reviewed. In this past decade, several new FT plants and reactors have been built. The first commercial scale slurry (3 phase) reactor and an improved version of the 2-phase fluidized bed reactor were successfully commissioned. The practical chemical, engineering and economic aspects of the FT process and reactors as well as the means of controlling conversion and selectivity are discussed. Despite the uncertainties regarding the chemical mechanism and the rate controlling steps satisfactory kinetic equations have been developed and successfully applied in both the design and control of FT reactors. The various proposed mechanisms are reviewed and a new version is presented. Uncertainties remain, however, and the usefulness of the present mechanistic information is questioned.