Microstructural Analysis and Energy-Filtered TEM Imaging to Investigate the Structure–Activity Relationship in Fischer–Tropsch Catalysts

Authors

  • Dr. Ileana Florea,

    1. Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS), UMR 7504 CNRS-Université de Strasbourg, 23, rue du Lœss, 67034 Strasbourg cedex 02 (France)
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  • Yuefeng Liu,

    1. Institut de Chimie et Procédés pour l'Energie, l'Environnement et la Santé (ICPEES), UMR 7515 CNRS, ECPM, Université de Strasbourg, 25, rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg cedex 08 (France)
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  • Prof. Ovidiu Ersen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS), UMR 7504 CNRS-Université de Strasbourg, 23, rue du Lœss, 67034 Strasbourg cedex 02 (France)
    • Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS), UMR 7504 CNRS-Université de Strasbourg, 23, rue du Lœss, 67034 Strasbourg cedex 02 (France)
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  • Dr. Christian Meny,

    1. Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg (IPCMS), UMR 7504 CNRS-Université de Strasbourg, 23, rue du Lœss, 67034 Strasbourg cedex 02 (France)
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  • Dr. Cuong Pham-Huu

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut de Chimie et Procédés pour l'Energie, l'Environnement et la Santé (ICPEES), UMR 7515 CNRS, ECPM, Université de Strasbourg, 25, rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg cedex 08 (France)
    • Institut de Chimie et Procédés pour l'Energie, l'Environnement et la Santé (ICPEES), UMR 7515 CNRS, ECPM, Université de Strasbourg, 25, rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg cedex 08 (France)
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Abstract

We present herein the application of chemical imaging based on energy-filtered TEM in 2 D and 3 D modes to determine the distribution of phases in Co/TiO2–SiC catalysts used in Fischer–Tropsch synthesis. In combination with more traditional techniques such as high-resolution TEM imaging, it allowed us to precisely characterize the microstructure and the relative distribution of the three compounds, Co, Si, and Ti, before and after the catalytic reaction. We show that the TiO2 doping was almost homogenous within the bimodal porous structure of β-SiC. The characteristics of the cobalt nanoparticles depended on the phase they are in contact with: small nanoparticles are found on TiO2 and larger nanoparticles close to SiC. Enhancement of the catalytic performance and higher stability were observed for the Co/TiO2–SiC catalyst relative to Co/SiC, which was attributed to the better dispersion of cobalt on TiO2-doped SiC support and to the relatively strong Co–TiO2 interaction. From a general point of view, this work illustrates that the advanced TEM-based techniques are unavoidable for the characterization and the optimization of heterogeneous catalysts.

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