Carburized cobalt catalyst for the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis†
Cobalt is an important catalyst for the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS) reaction. We present a pretreatment process to enhance the activity of cobalt catalyst by carburizing it with an intermediate time. Cobalt catalyst carburized for 0.5 h showed higher activity than the cobalt catalyst without carburization and cobalt catalyst carburized for 2 h. TEM analysis revealed the existence of different phases of Co3C, Co, and Co2C for these catalysts, with Co3C showing high activity for the FTS reaction. With the help of DFT calculations, we assessed the structure–performance relationships among the Co3C, Co, and Co2C, and found that Co3C was more active for CO activation. Our study provides a new idea to rationally design Co-based FTS catalysts with high activity.