A series of metal hydrides (M = Zr, Hf, Ta, W) supported on silica-alumina were studied for the first time in hydrogenolysis of light alkanes in a continuous flow reactor. It was found that there is a difference in the reaction mechanism between d 0 metal hydrides of group 4 and d 0 ↔ d 2 metal hydrides of group 5 and group 6. Furthermore, the potential application of these catalysts has been demonstrated by the transformation of Fischer-Tropsch wax in a reactive distillation set-up into typical gasoline and diesel molecules in high selectivity (up to 86 wt%). Current results show that the group 4 metal hydrides have a promising yield toward liquid fuels.
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