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Keywords:

  • carbon nanotubes;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • hydrocarbons;
  • transition metals;
  • zeolites

Abstract

Fischer–Tropsch synthesis is a key reaction in the utilization of non-petroleum carbon resources, such as methane (natural gas, shale gas, and biogas), coal, and biomass, for the sustainable production of clean liquid fuels from synthesis gas. Selectivity control is one of the biggest challenges in Fischer–Tropsch synthesis. This Minireview focuses on the development of new catalysts with controllable product selectivities. Recent attempts to increase the selectivity to C5+ hydrocarbons by preparing catalysts with well-defined active phases or with new supports or by optimizing the interaction between the promoter and the active phase are briefly highlighted. Advances in developing bifunctional catalysts capable of catalyzing both CO hydrogenation to heavier hydrocarbons and hydrocracking/isomerization of heavier hydrocarbons are critically reviewed. It is demonstrated that the control of the secondary hydrocracking reactions by using core–shell nanostructures or solid-acid materials, such as mesoporous zeolites and carbon nanotubes with acid functional groups, is an effective strategy to tune the product selectivity of Fischer–Tropsch synthesis. Very promising selectivities to gasoline- and diesel-range hydrocarbons have been attained over some bifunctional catalysts.