Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering ( IF 3.552 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-03 , DOI: 10.1007/s11705-019-1866-4 Yifei Wang, Shouying Huang, Xinsheng Teng, Hongyu Wang, Jian Wang, Qiao Zhao, Yue Wang, Xinbin Ma
The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) continues to be an attractive alternative for producing a broad range of fuels and chemicals through the conversion of syngas (H2 and CO), which can be derived from various sources, such as coal, natural gas, and biomass. Among iron carbides, Fe2C, as an active phase, has barely been studied due to its thermodynamic instability. Here, we fabricated a series of Fe2C embedded in hollow carbon sphere (HCS) catalysts. By varying the crystallization time, the shell thickness of the HCS was manipulated, which significantly influenced the catalytic performance in the FTS. To investigate the relationship between the geometric structure of the HCS and the physic-chemical properties of Fe species, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, N2 physical adsorption, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, hydrogen temperature-programmed reduction, Raman spectroscopy, and Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques were employed to characterize the catalysts before and after the reaction. Evidently, a suitable thickness of the carbon layer was beneficial for enhancing the catalytic activity in the FTS due to its high porosity, appropriate electronic environment, and relatively high Fe2C content.