TITLE: Synthesis of single phase (alpha)-Fe, Fe(sub 3)C and Fe(sub 7)C(sub 3) nano-particles by CO(sub 2) laser pyrolysis technique. Quarterly progress report, January--March, 1992.

AUTHOR: P. C. Eklund;   X. X. Bi.

INST.  AUTHOR: Kentucky Univ., Lexington. Center for Applied Energy Research.

SPONSOR: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.


PUB.  TYPE: Technical Report

PUB.  COUNTRY: United States

SOURCE: Department of Energy [DE],  1992,  29p.



Iron-containing catalysts have been known to be useful in assisting the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reaction for synthesizing hydrocarbons. However, it has been well recognized that iron catalyst are not stable during the reaction but converted into iron carbides. It is thus important to understand the role of the iron carbides in the catalytic reaction of the FT-synthesis. It has been found difficult to produce iron carbide nano-particles as a single phase, because iron carbide phases are only metastable under 1 atm pressure. Iron carbide bulk particles prepared so far are often contaminated with metallic iron, iron oxides and free carbon. In this study, we investigate the synthesis of iron carbide nano-particles using CO(sub 2) laser pyrolysis technique. We show that this technique is successful in synthesizing (alpha)-Fe, Fe(sub 3)C and Fe(sub 7)C(sub 3) nano-particles in their single phase with sizes in the range of 5--20nm. In particular, we have produced for the first time the Fe(sub 7)C(sub 3) which has been known to exist but unable to be produced as a single phase. Furthermore, it is interesting that Fe(sub 5)C(sub 2) which has carbon and iron ratio between Fe(sub 3)C and Fe(sub 7)C(sub 3), is not seen in any run of our synthesis.