The effect of ceria promotion on the performance of Co/Al2O3 catalyst was evaluated in a high pressure fixed bed reactor for Fischer–Tropsch (FT) synthesis at close industrial conditions. Ce–Al2O3 supports with a molar ratio of Al/Ce = 8 were prepared by two different methods: one by co-precipitation of cerium and aluminum precursors in water-in-oil microemulsion and the other one by aqueous impregnation of cerium nitrate on commercial alumina. These supports, together with the unmodified alumina carrier, were used to prepare four cobalt-based catalysts. These catalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, EDX, TEM, N2 adsorption/desorption, TPR and chemisorption techniques. The results show that the presence of CeO2 on the surface of the support favors the reducibility of cobalt oxides with a shift down in reduction temperature of about 70 °C. The catalytic evaluation of the catalysts revealed that cerium addition by impregnation increases the activity and selectivity to C5+ catalyst in FTS. The catalyst synthetized by microemulsion show lower catalytic performance. Nevertheless, the catalytic property of this material can be improved by increasing the crystalline micro-domains size of CeO2.
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