(617dp) Development of a Graphene Supported Iron-Oxide Nanocatalyst for Fischer Tropsch Synthesis

Authors: 
Montgomery, S., Auburn University
Radich, J. G., Auburn University
Xu, R., Auburn University
In order to provide for increasing global energy demand, alternative sources of energy need to be developed. Fischer Tropsch Synthesis is one such technology that can produce a wide variety of hydrocarbon products from gasified biomass feedstock. However, Fischer Tropsch Synthesis faces a several significant hurdles before it can be considered a reliable alternative source of liquid fuels. Mainly, the selectivity of Fischer Tropsch Synthesis to a narrow range of liquid hydrocarbons is difficult to achieve on a large scale, thus leading to expensive cracking and separation steps to purify the final product. As a result, catalysts with unique structures and chemical properties have been studied extensively to develop a catalyst with higher selectivity or conversion to a narrower range of hydrocarbon products. Due to the unique properties of graphene, including high surface area (>2600m2/g theoretical), high thermal conductivity (2000-4000W/m-K), and high electrical conductivity, it is hypothesized that a graphene support will facilitate heat transfer and electron mobility along the catalyst surface, thus improving the catalyst effectiveness in overall yield. As a result, graphene supported iron-oxide nanocatalyst was developed and tested to determine the graphene supportâ??s effect on liquid fuel production through Fischer Tropsch Synthesis.