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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 945735, 12 pages
Research Article

Study of Syngas Conversion to Light Olefins by Response Surface Methodology

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, P.O. Box 98164, Zahedan, Iran
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, P.O. Box 98135-674, Zahedan, Iran

Received 21 June 2012; Revised 1 October 2012; Accepted 7 October 2012

Academic Editor: Albert Demonceau

Copyright © 2013 Hossein Atashi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effect of adding MgO to a precipitated iron-cobalt-manganese based Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) catalyst was investigated via response surface methodology. The catalytic performance of the catalysts was examined in a fixed bed microreactor at a total pressure of 1–7 bar, temperature of 280–380°C, MgO content of 5–25% and using a syngas having a H2 to CO ratio equal to 2.The dependence of the activity and product distribution on MgO content, temperature, and pressure was successfully correlated via full quadratic second-order polynomial equations. The statistical analysis and response surface demonstrations indicated that MgO significantly influences the CO conversion and chain growth probability as well as ethane, propane, propylene, butylene selectivity, and alkene/alkane ratio. A strong interaction between variables was also evidenced in some cases. The decreasing effect of pressure on alkene to alkane ratio is investigated through olefin readsorption effects and CO hydrogenation kinetics. Finally, a multiobjective optimization procedure was employed to calculate the best amount of MgO content in different reactor conditions.