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Mechanistic Role of Water on the Rate and Selectivity of Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis on Ruthenium Catalysts


  • We thank BP for financial support through the BP Conversion Consortium (BP-XC2) program as well as Drs. Glenn Sunley, Jay Labinger, Craig Plaisance, Corneliu Buda and the entire BP-XC2 team for helpful discussions. We also wish to acknowledge the computational resources provided by the Molecular Science Computing Facility (MSCF) in the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national scientific user facility sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


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Water increases Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS) rates on Ru through H-shuttling processes. Chemisorbed hydrogen (H*) transfers its electron to the metal and protonates the O-atom of CO* to form COH*, which subsequently hydrogenates to *HCOH* in the kinetically relevant step. H2O also increases the chain length of FTS products by mediating the H-transfer steps during reactions of alkyl groups with CO* to form longer-chain alkylidynes and OH*.

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