Formulation and catalytic performance of MOF-derived Fe@C/Al composites for high temperature Fischer–Tropsch synthesis†
High productivity towards C2–C4 olefins together with high catalyst stability are key for optimum operation in high temperature Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (HT-FTS). Here, we report the fabrication of Fe@C/Al composites that combine both the outstanding catalytic properties of the Fe–BTC MOF-derived Fe catalyst and the excellent mechanical resistance and textural properties provided by the inorganic AlOOH binder. The addition of AlOOH to Fe–BTC followed by pyrolysis in N2 atmosphere at 500 °C results in composites with a large mesoporosity, a high Fe/Fe3O4 ratio, 10–35 nm average Fe crystallite size and coordinatively unsaturated Al3+ sites. In catalytic terms, the addition of AlOOH binder gives rise to enhanced C2–C4 selectivity and catalyst mechanical stability in HT-FTS, but at high Al contents the activity decreases. Altogether, the productivity of these Fe@C/Al composites is well above most known Fe catalysts for this process.