Date of Award

Spring 1982

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinetic studies of the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide to methane and methanol were carried out over iron-titanium alloy catalysts, in a continuous flow fixed bed differential reactor. The catalysts studied included FeTi, Fe(,1.5)Ti and Fe(,2.5)Ti alloys with pure Fe used as a comparison. The catalysts used were all unsupported with an averaged initial particle size of 270 microns. The range of feed compositions was varied from 10 to 33% CO with the remainder being H(,2). Temperatures were varied from 520 to 590 K at a total pressure of 34 atm for all the catalysts studied. Additionally, a pressure of 13.6 atm was studied for the Fe(,1.5)Ti catalyst. Mass and heat transfer interferences were eliminated by limiting the catalyst contact time to 0.1 second.

The alloys studied generally had activities towards the methane and methanol reaction equivalent to pure iron while having a much better selectivity.

The Fe(,2.5)Ti catalyst had the greatest activity towards the methanation reaction, with a turnover number 150% larger than pure iron at 583 K, 34 atm and a feed of 33% CO with the remainder H(,2). The selectivity towards methane was in the range of 80 to 90% with the second major component being CO(,2). This catalyst did not deposit carbon and retained 85% of its original particle size.

Methanol was produced by the catalysts studied with the largest amounts produced by the Fe(,1.5)Ti catalyst at 583 K, 13.6 atm and a feed of 15% CO with the remainder being H(,2). Additionally, improved methanol production results were noted using Fe(,2.5)Ti as the system temperatures were reduced.