Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Technology of Iron-Ore-Based Catalysts for Production of Liquid Fuels and Chemicals from Syngas

D.H. Chun
Korea Institute of Energy Research(KIER),

Keywords: eco-friendliness, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, iron-based catalysts


An eco-friendly and economical way for preparation of iron-ore-based catalysts with catalytic properties similar to those of conventional iron-based catalysts for production of liquid fuels and high value-added chemicals from coal, natural/shale gas, waste wood, and even water and carbon dioxide via syngas (H2+CO). Conventional manufacturing technology of iron-based catalysts for FTS (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) requires a large amount of chemicals and water, labor-intensive procedures, and inevitable discharge of environmentally harmful waste. This innovation offers a new manufacturing method of iron-based FTS catalysts, which is much more eco-friendly and economical than a conventional technique in terms of the amounts of water and chemicals used and discharged. In this innovation, the iron-based catalysts are prepared from natural iron ore samples through a combination of a wet-milling process and a wet impregnation method. The iron-ore-based catalysts show catalytic performance favorable for low-temperature FTS using hydrogen-deficient syngas (H2/CO = 1) in all aspects of CO conversion, CO2 selectivity, and C5+ selectivity in hydrocarbons. The overall catalytic performance of iron-ore-based catalysts is much greater than that of unmodified iron ore samples and comparable to that of conventional precipitated iron-based catalysts. In a conventional process for manufacturing iron-based FTS catalysts, the catalyst manufacturer should install a huge waste water treatment facility because the conventional process inevitably discharges about 200-250 kg of waste water per kilogram of catalyst. However, the method in this innovation essentially discharges no waste water. Furthermore, this method consumes only about 0.15 kg of chemicals per kilogram of catalyst, whereas the conventional method consumes more than 6 kg of chemicals per kilogram of catalyst. Therefore, the users of this technology can save both installation costs for waste water treatment facility and materials cost for chemicals and water.