In this contribution, we examine the effect of the promoter´s ionic charge and valence orbital energy on the catalytic activity of Fe-based catalysts, based on in situ synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SXRPD), temperature-programmed-based techniques (TPR, TPD, CO-TP carburization), and Fischer–Tropsch synthesis catalytic testing studies. We compared the promoting effects of K (a known promoter for longer-chained products) with Ba, which has a similar ionic radius but has double the ionic charge. Despite being partially “buried” in a crystalline BaCO3 phase, the carburization of the Ba-promoted catalyst was more effective than that of K; this was primarily due to its higher (2+) ionic charge. With Ba2+, higher selectivity to methane and lighter products were obtained compared to the K-promoted catalysts; this is likely due to Ba´s lesser capability of suppressing H adsorption on the catalyst surface. An explanation is provided in terms of a more limited mixing between electron-filled Ba2+ 5p and partially filled Fe 3d orbitals, which are expected to be important for the chemical promotion, as they are further apart in energy compared to the K+ 3p and Fe 3d orbitals.

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Published in Reactions, v. 2, issue 4.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The following are available online at https://www.mdpi.com/article/10.3390/reactions2040026/s1, Table S1: BET surface area and pore size distribution. The material is also available for download as the additional file listed at the end of this record.

reactions-02-00026-s001.zip (55 kB)
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