A novel silica nanospring (NS) supported cobalt catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) was synthesized and investigated, and the results were compared with those of a conventional cobalt catalyst. The NS catalyst was prepared using deposition of Co followed by thermal assisted reduction and characterized by scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, N2 physisorption, X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and H2-temperature programmed reduction. FTS performance was evaluated in a quartz fixed-bed microreactor (230°C, H2:CO ratio 2:1), and the products were trapped and analyzed with gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detector (GC-TCD, gases) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, semivolatiles) to determine the percentage of CO conversion and selectivity. Semivolatile products from both catalysts were C6-C18 hydrocarbons. Even though the NS FTS catalyst was not fully reduced during the activation period it still showed higher FTS activity than the conventional catalyst, which is attributed to the higher accessibility of the gases to the Co on the NS surface. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 693–698, 2014
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