Afzal, Shaik (2015-08). Modeling Fischer-Tropsch Product Distribution of a Cobalt Based Catalyst in Different Reaction Media. Master's Thesis.
This work discusses the modeling of hydrocarbon product distribution up to carbon number 15 of a cobalt-based catalyst under Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis conditions. The proposed kinetics of the reaction has been adapted from Todic et al. In the first part of the study, a Genetic Algorithm code in MATLAB(R) was developed to generate parameters of the 19-parameter kinetic model. In the next part of the work, an experimental campaign was conducted in a high pressure FT reactor unit to verify the model predictability of the cobalt catalyst product profile in gas phase. The results in terms of conversion and hydrocarbon product formations were reported. Less than 12% CO conversion was maintained in all 7 runs in order to ensure that the reaction was occurring in the kinetic regime. After the peak identification and analysis, the experimental data was input into the developed MATLAB(R) code to estimate model parameters. This model estimates the FT product distribution in the gas phase media with a mean absolute relative residual (MARR) of 48.44%. This is higher than that obtained by Todic et al. The higher error is attributed to the fewer number of experimental runs carried out and due to some assumptions made in product characterization. This work lays the foundation for future work towards investigations of FT product distribution in the presence of a supercritical solvent to bring the reaction media to near critical and supercritical phase conditions.