Catalysis Letters

, Volume 138, Issue 1–2, pp 8–13 | Cite as

Effect of Alkali Metal Impurities on Co–Re Catalysts for Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis from Biomass-Derived Syngas

  • Christine M. Balonek
  • Andreas H. Lillebø
  • Shreyas Rane
  • Erling Rytter
  • Lanny D. Schmidt
  • Anders HolmenEmail author


The effect of alkali impurities on Co-based Fischer–Tropsch (FT) catalysts is important for processing biomass-derived synthesis gas containing inorganic ash impurities. The effects of Na, K, Li, and Ca impurities on γ-Al2O3-supported Co–Re powder catalysts were studied at impurity loadings between 25 and 1,000 ppm. Impurity addition did not have any effect on H2 chemisorption, but the catalyst activity decreased during FT synthesis experiments. The impurities were also found to slightly increase the reduction temperatures of Co. Carbon selectivities to CH4 decreased with increasing impurity loading, while CO2 and C5+ hydrocarbon selectivities increased. Catalyst behavior was attributed mostly to electronic effects from the alkali addition, leading to decreased surface H concentrations and increased CO adsorption and dissociation.

Graphical Abstract

Site-time yield (STY) as a function of metal impurity loading at constant conversion of CO.


Fischer–Tropsch Biomass Cobalt Alkali 



This material is based upon work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Support was also received from the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Statoil appreciate contribution from the InGAP project. Statoil is acknowledged for providing the standard catalysts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine M. Balonek
    • 1
  • Andreas H. Lillebø
    • 3
  • Shreyas Rane
    • 3
  • Erling Rytter
    • 2
  • Lanny D. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Anders Holmen
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Statoil R&D RotvollTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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