We studied the alpha-olefin selectivity in Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis using density functional theory (131717) calculations. We calculated the relevant elementary steps from C-2 to C-6 species. Our results showed that the barriers of hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions were constant with different chain lengths, and the chemisorption energies of alpha-olefins from DFT calculations also were very similar, except for C-2 species. A simple expression of the paraffin/olefin ratio was obtained based on a kinetic model. Combining the expression of the paraffin/olefin ratio and our calculation results, experimental findings are satisfactorily explained. We found that the physical origin of the chain length dependence of paraffin/olefin ratio is the chain length dependence of both the van der Waals interaction between adsorbed alpha-olefins and metal surfaces and the entropy difference between adsorbed and gaseous alpha-olefins, and that the greater chemisorption energy of ethylene is the main reason for the abnormal ethane/ethylene ratio. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology