The first pyrolysis plants were built in Russia (in Kiev and Kazan) in the 1970s. Pyrolysis was mainly applied to kerosine to produce gas for lighting. Later it was proved that aromatic hydrocarbons could be released from the resin produced by pyrolysis. Pyrolysis was widely developed during the First World War, when there was a great demand for toluene, raw material for TNT production.
After the invention of the process by German researchers Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch, who worked at the Kaiser Wilheim Institute in the 1920s, many improvements and corrections were made and the name "Fischer-Tropsch" is now applied to a large number of similar processes (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis or Fischer-Tropsch chemistry)
The process was invented in oil-poor but coal-rich Germany in 1919.
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The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis can be considered as a reductive oligomerisation reaction of carbon monoxide in which carbon-carbon bonds are formed, and in general terms it is a complex combination of a number of heterogeneous reactions, which can be represented by the overall equations:
nCO + 2nH2 = (CH2)n + nH2O,
2co + nH2 = (CH2)n + no2.
The reaction products are alkanes, alkenes and oxygen-containing compounds, i.e. a complex mixture of products typical of a polymerisation reaction is formed. The primary products of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis are a- and b-olefins, which are transformed into alkanes by subsequent hydrogenation. The type of the catalyst used, the temperature, the ratio of CO and H2 significantly affect the distribution of products. Thus, when using iron catalysts, the proportion of olefins is high, whereas in the case of cobalt catalysts with hydrogenating activity, saturated hydrocarbons are mainly formed.
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The Fischer-Tropsch process complex (or Fischer-Tropsch synthesis) is the conversion of synthesis gas into a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons.
Synthesis gas is a common expression from the 19th century, which was used to describe a product of carbon chemistry. Synthesis gas is a mixture of CO (carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide) and H (hydrogen). Since a wide variety of synthetic products can be obtained from this gas mixture by various reactions, the name "syngas" was introduced.
In 1919 German scientists discovered that if Metal Group VIII is used as catalyst at a temperature in the range of 200 ° C (+/- 100), mixtures of liquid hydrocarbons can be obtained from synthesis gas.
It was a great discovery that made it possible to obtain hydrocarbon fuels not from oil. This was particularly important for Germany after the First World War. And already in 1934, the first industrial plant was set to work in Germany, and 4 more appeared in 1938. During the World War II, a large part of the fuel needs of Germany and Japan were met precisely with hydrocarbons produced by the Fischer-Tropsch method. Most likely because of it, the remarkable scientists weren’t awarded a Nobel prize.