On the Cobalt Carbide Formation in a Co/TiO2 Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Catalyst as Studied by High-Pressure, Long-Term Operando X ray Absorption and Diffraction
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) is a process used to synthesize ultra-clean diesel from crude-oil alternative feedstocks, such as biomass, municipal waste and natural gas. The application of FTS in the chemical industry is experiencing a resurgence, due to increased environmental awareness, an ever-growing demand for (increasingly cleaner) transportation fuels, and the environmental impact from burning fossil carbon. FTS converts synthesis gas, a mixture of CO + H2, over a catalyst to produce the heavier hydrocarbons. An industrially relevant catalyst for this process is in the form of cobalt nanoparticles supported on titania. It is known that this catalyst slowly deactivates but many questions remain regarding details of the deactivation mechanisms.