The objective of the work was to enhance price-competitive, synthesis gas (syngas)-based production of transportation fuels that are directly compatible with the existing vehicle fleet (i.e., vehicles fueled by gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc.). To accomplish this, modifications to the traditional methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) process were investigated. In this study, we investigated direct conversion of syngas to distillates using methanol and dimethyl ether intermediates. For this application, a Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 (PdZnAl) catalyst previously developed for methanol steam reforming was evaluated. The PdZnAl catalyst was shown to be far superior to a conventional copper-based methanol catalyst when operated at relatively high temperatures (i.e., >300°C), which is necessary for MTG-type applications. Catalytic performance was evaluated through parametric studies. Process conditions such as temperature, pressure, gas-hour-space velocity, and syngas feed ratio (i.e., hydrogen:carbon monoxide) were investigated. PdZnAl catalyst formulation also was optimized to maximize conversion and selectivity to methanol and dimethyl ether while suppressing methane formation. Thus, a PdZn/Al2O3 catalyst optimized for methanol and dimethyl ether formation was developed through combined catalytic material and process parameter exploration. However, even after compositional optimization, a significant amount of undesirable carbon dioxide was produced (formed via the water-gas-shift reaction), and some degree of methane formation could not be …
November 26, 2013
Dagle, Robert A.; Lebarbier, Vanessa MC; Lizarazo Adarme, Jair A.; King, David L.; Zhu, Yunhua; Gray, Michel J. et al.
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