Fischer-Tropsch process

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Fischer-Tropsch process

(fĭsh`ər-trōpsh), method for the synthesis of hydrocarbons and other aliphatic compounds. Synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, is reacted in the presence of an iron or cobalt catalyst; much heat is evolved, and such products as methane, synthetic gasoline and waxes, and alcohols are made, with water or carbon dioxide produced as a byproduct. An important source of the hydrogen–carbon monoxide gas mixture is the gasification of coal (see water gaswater gas,
colorless poisonous gas that burns with an intensely hot, bluish (nearly colorless) flame. The gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen with very small amounts of other gases, e.g., carbon dioxide, and is almost entirely combustible as a result.
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). The process is named after F. Fischer and H. Tropsch, the German coal researchers who discovered it in 1923.

Fischer-Tropsch process

[¦fish·ər ¦trōpsh ‚präs·əs]
(chemical engineering)
A catalytic process to synthesize hydrocarbons and their oxygen derivatives by the controlled reaction of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Fischer-Tropsch process

The synthesis of hydrocarbons and, to a lesser extent, of aliphatic oxygenated compounds by the catalytic hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. The synthesis was discovered in 1923 by F. Fischer and H. Tropsch at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Coal Research in Mulheim, Germany. The reaction is highly exothermic, and the reactor must be designed for adequate heat removal to control the temperature and avoid catalyst deterioration and carbon formation. The sulfur content of the synthesis gas must be extremely low to avoid poisoning the catalyst. See Coal gasification