Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 253–263

Influence of operating conditions on the performance of biomass-based Fischer–Tropsch synthesis

  • Anca Sauciuc
  • Ziad Abosteif
  • Gerald Weber
  • Angela Potetz
  • Reinhard Rauch
  • Hermann Hofbauer
  • Georg Schaub
  • Lucia Dumitrescu
Original Article


The environmental concerns and the European liquid (bio) fuel regulations have determined a growing demand on biofuels. Fischer–Tropsch synthesis can provide clean synthetic fuels containing low concentrations of sulfur, nitrogen, and aromatics. While Fischer–Tropsch synthesis using natural gas and coal is a well established and commercialized process for more than 70 years, the new technology of Fischer–Tropsch synthesis using biomass as feedstock is gaining more and more attention due to the possibilities of using renewable raw materials. In this work, in order to optimize the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis, the influence of operating conditions has been studied in a slurry reactor using a Co-based catalyst. Experiments were performed at different syngas composition (variation of H2/CO ratio) and pressure (24, 20, and 16 bar), keeping the other parameters (temperature, 230 °C; gas flow, 5 Nm3/h) constant. The effects of pressure on CO conversion, product distribution, C5+ selectivity, Par/Ole ratio, and α value were investigated, and the results were compared with data from literature. It was found that—increasing the reaction pressure—heavier hydrocarbons were formed, and CO conversion increased from 44.2 to 63.7 %. A slight change has been observed in the case of an α value between 0.89 and 0.9, C5+ selectivity between 90.6 and 91.7 %, and Par/Ole ratio between 11.4 and 14.1. An important role for the results obtained was attributed to H2/CO ratio variation during the experiments.


Biomass Fischer–Tropsch synthesis Pressure influence CO conversion Product distribution 


ASF model

Anderson–Schulz–Flory distribution

α value

Chain growth probability




Fischer–Tropsch reactor


Greenhouse gasses


Mass fraction of the products with carbon number higher than 5


Mass fraction of the Fischer–Tropsch products containing n carbon


Programmable logic controller


The ratio between the paraffin and olefin from the Fischer–Tropsch products


Volumetric flow of the gas (in normal cubic meters per hour)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anca Sauciuc
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ziad Abosteif
    • 3
  • Gerald Weber
    • 4
  • Angela Potetz
    • 5
  • Reinhard Rauch
    • 4
  • Hermann Hofbauer
    • 5
  • Georg Schaub
    • 3
  • Lucia Dumitrescu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Renewable Energy Systems and RecyclingTransilvania University of BrasovBrasovRomania
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and EnvironmentTransilvania University of BrasovBrasovRomania
  3. 3.Engler-Bunte InstituteKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  4. 4.Bioenergy 2020+GüssingAustria
  5. 5.Institute of Chemical EngineeringVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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