Production of Gaseous Olefins from Syngas over a Cobalt-HZSM-5 Catalyst


Light olefins (C2–C5) are high-value platform chemicals used to produce plastics, lubricants, coating material, and surfactants, and can be intermediates to produce transportation fuels. In this study we report on the development of a Co-based catalyst for direct conversion of fossil as well as biomass derived syngas into light olefins that enables high conversion and olefin/paraffin (O/P) product ratio, minimal selectivity to CO2 (< 1%) and wax formation (C14+ selectivity < 1%). Over a Co/HZSM-5 bi-functional catalyst 38% CO conversion with C2–C5 olefin selectivity of 48%, and O/P ratio of 4.0 was achieved at 240 °C, 17 bar, and 1.5 L/(g–h). In addition to a gaseous olefin-rich stream a C6–C13 mixed olefin/paraffin liquid byproduct was also produced with 25% selectivity. Both Co loading and the HZSM-5 acidity levels were optimized to maintain the balance between the hydrogenation and the cracking activity to generate high levels of C2–C4 olefins. A suite of catalyst characterization tools were used to correlate the physical and chemical property of the catalyst to the performance of the catalyst towards syngas conversion and C2–C4 olefin selectivity.

Graphic Abstract

Direct conversion of syngas into specialty chemicals (light/gaseous olefins) as well as liquid hydrocarbons over cobalt-HZSM-5 catalysts.

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Correspondence to Karthikeyan K. Ramasamy.

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Maddi, B., Davidson, S., Job, H. et al. Production of Gaseous Olefins from Syngas over a Cobalt-HZSM-5 Catalyst. Catal Lett 151, 526–537 (2021).

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  • Syngas hydrogenation
  • Unconventional fossil feedstocks
  • Biofuels
  • Cobalt
  • Zeolite
  • Applied catalysis