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Syngas Conversion to Gasoline-Range Hydrocarbons over Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 and ZSM-5 Composite Catalyst System

Citation

Dagle RA, JA Lizarazo Adarme, VMC Lebarbier, MJ Gray, JF White, DL King, and DR Palo.  2014.  "Syngas Conversion to Gasoline-Range Hydrocarbons over Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 and ZSM-5 Composite Catalyst System."  Fuel Processing Technology 123:65-74.  doi:10.1016/j.fuproc.2014.01.041

Journal Article

Abstract

A composite Pd/ZnO/Al2O3-HZSM-5 (Si/Al=40) catalytic system was evaluated for the synthesis of gasoline-range hydrocarbons directly from synthesis gas. Bifunctional catalyst comprising PdZn metal and acid sites present the required catalytically active sites necessary for the methanol synthesis, methanol dehydration, and methanol-to-gasoline reactions. This system provides a unique catalytic pathway for the production of liquid hydrocarbons directly from syngas. However, selectivity control is difficult and poses many challenges. The composite catalytic system was evaluated under various process conditions. Investigated were the effects of temperature (310-375oC), pressure (300-1000 psig), time-on-stream (50 hrs), and gas-hour space velocity (740-2970 hr-1), using a H2/CO molar syngas ratio of 2.0. By operating at the lower end of the temperature range investigated, liquid hydrocarbon formation was favored, as was decreased amounts of undesirable light hydrocarbons. However, lower operating temperatures also facilitated undesirable CO2 formation via the water-gas shift reaction. Higher operating pressures slightly favored liquid synthesis. Operating at relatively low pressures (e.g. 300 psig) was made possible, whereas for methanol synthesis alone higher pressure are usually required to achieve similar conversion levels (e.g. 1000 psig). Thermodynamic constraints on methanol synthesis are eased by pushing the equilibrium through hydrocarbon formation. Catalytic performance was also evaluated by altering Pd and Zn composition of the Pd/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst. Of the catalysts and conditions tested, selectivity toward liquid hydrocarbon was highest when using a 5% Pd metal loading and Pd/Zn molar ratio of 0.25 and mixed with HZMS-5, operating at 310oC and 300 psig, CO conversion was 43 % and selectivity (carbon weight basis) to hydrocarbons was 49 wt. %. Of the hydrocarbon fraction, 44wt. % was in the C5-C12 liquid product range and consisted primarily of aromatic polymethylbenzenes. However, as syngas conversion increases with increasing temperature, selectivity to liquid product diminished. This is attributed, in large part, to increased saturation of the olefinic intermediates over PdZn metal sites. Under all the conditions and catalysts evaluated in this study, generating liquid product in high yield was challenging (<10 wt. % C5+ yield).

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