Description: In this reporting period, a fundamental filtration study was continued to investigate the separation of Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) liquids from iron-based catalyst particles. The overall focus of the program is with slurry-phase FTS in slurry bubble column reactor systems. Hydrocarbon products must be separated from catalyst particles before being removed from the reactor system. An efficient wax product/catalyst separation system is a key factor for optimizing operating costs for iron-based slurry-phase FTS. Previous work has focused on catalyst particle attrition and the formation of ultra-fine iron carbide and/or carbon particles. With the current study, we are investigating how the filtration properties are affected by these chemical and physical changes of the catalyst slurry during activation/synthesis. The shakedown phase of the pilot-scale filtration platform was completed at the end of the last reporting period. A study of various molecular weight waxes was initiated to determine the effect of wax physical properties on the permeation rate without catalyst present. As expected, the permeation flux was inversely proportional to the nominal average molecular weight of the polyethylene wax. Even without catalyst particles present in the filtrate, the filtration membranes experience fouling during an induction period on the order of days on-line. Another long-term filtration test was initiated using a batch of iron catalyst that was previously activated with CO to form iron carbide in a separate continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) system. The permeation flux stabilized more rapidly than that experienced with unactivated catalyst tests.
Date: September 30, 2004
Creator: Neathery, James K.; Jacobs, Gary & Davis, Burtron H.
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