Experts from BASF's Catalysis Research in Ludwigshafen have now developed a new catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch process that allows the dedicated production of olefins for the company's production Verbund. The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is used for industrial-scale conversion of synthesis gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen) into hydrocarbons and is an alternative method to using naphtha in steam crackers.
The research is a part of BASF's Growth Cluster Raw Material Change initiative in it has allocated altogether about EUR100 mln. The use of synthesis gas will widen BASF's raw material base in future as synthesis gas can be obtained both from the fossil raw materials oil, gas and coal and from renewable resources. At today's prices for naphtha, the cost effectiveness of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process is established. Development activities related to the heterogeneous catalyst have so far focused on how to significantly increase selectivity for the production of olefins with two to four carbon atoms, says a professor with BASF's research center.