Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Babu Joseph, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Kuhn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Venkat Bhethanabotla, Ph.D.


Biofuel, Fuel, Heterogenous Catalysis, Syngas


Promoter effects on SBA-15 supported iron Fischer-Tropsch catalysts were investigated for their potential to improve high temperature catalyst performance. FTS catalysts promoted by manganese (0.15%-1.4%), copper (0.15%-1%), and potassium (0.5%-3%), with all percentages stated on the basis of mass percentage of final catalysts, were prepared and tested at 430°C and ambient pressure in a fixed bed reactor. Manganese showed the ability to promote the FT reaction, increasing both the CO conversion and the average chain length of hydrocarbon products. Compared to the unpromoted catalyst composed only of iron supported on SBA-15, 1.4%Mn (mass) promotion of 15% (mass) iron on SBA-15 improved CO conversion from 29% to 32%, increased alpha from 0.21 to 0.34, decreased carbon dioxide selectivity from 76% to 50%, increased C2-C4 selectivity from 9.6% to 30% and increased C5+ selectivity from 0.21% to 2.2%. Copper promotion gave increased conversion, but did not significantly affect alpha or carbon dioxide selectivity. Potassium promotion in the range of 0.5% to 3% by mass, on the other hand, had a negative effect on CO conversion at all concentrations tested.