Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Mechanical Engineering (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Prakashbhai Bhoi


Climate change is a major issue that our world is facing today. Finding renewable options for current infrastructure is paramount to solving this issue. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of syngas from gasified biomass can produce renewable fuels that can be used in current conventional combustion engines. In order to make this process more industrially viable, a higher selectivity towards the desired range of liquid hydrocarbon products must be achieved. A novel way to do this is to introduce a catalyst to the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. The catalyst’s physical and chemical properties can promote chain growth of specific hydrocarbons. For the purpose of this research, the production of sustainable aviation fuel is the goal, and therefor the catalyst that is produced must promote the growth of length hydrocarbons. During the process of this research three promising catalysts were produced to achieve this goal, a 7.5 wt.% cobalt, 0.19 wt.% ruthenium supported on ZSM-5, a 5 wt.% Nickel, 3 wt.% gallium supported on ZSM-5, and a 5 wt.% Nickel, 3 wt.% gallium supported on . These catalysts were produced by incipient wetness impregnation. A scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy was used to gain visual data and metal dispersion data on the surface of the catalysts. It was concluded that, if surface area and pore volume measurements are found to be like Chevron’s Co/Ru/ZSM-5 catalyst, then the Co/Ru/ZSM-5 catalyst produced during this research should be able to achieve a similarly high selectivity towards length hydrocarbons.