Effect of Ag and Pd Promotion on CH4 Selectivity in Fe(100) Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis

Peter C. Psarras, Cleveland State University
Jennifer Wilcox, Stanford University
David W. Ball, Cleveland State University


The current CO2 utilization market is dominated by enhanced oil recovery and urea manufacturing; yet, the scale of demand falls well short of that deemed necessary to make a significant impact on climate change. CO2 conversion to fuels, however, is a utilization technology that can theoretically match the scale of projected CO2 capture. Fischer-Tropsch (FT) processing is a long-established technology for converting non-petroleum based precursors into transportation fuels and other valuable chemicals. Here, we report the effects of Pd and Ag doping on CH4 selectivity over Fe(100), a common FT catalyst, as these metals have shown potential in the direct conversion of co-fed CO2. Adsorption energies for pathway specific C1 and C2 species were weakened in the presence of Ag and Pd by ca. 0.55 eV and 0.35 eV, respectively. Further, while both Ag-and Pd-promoted surfaces show decreased CH4 production, Ag introduces a prohibitively high coupling barrier; thus, only Pd offered a decrease in CH4 selectivity (-36%) relative to unmodified Fe(100).