Design and operation of a "six-flow fixed-bed microreactor" setup for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) is described. The unit consists of feed and mixing, flow division, reaction, separation, and analysis sections. The reactor system is made of five heating blocks with individual temperature controllers, assuring an identical isothermal zone of at least 10 cm along six fixed-bed microreactor inserts (4 mm inner diameter). Such a lab-scale setup allows running six experiments in parallel, under equal feed composition, reaction temperature, and conditions of separation and analysis equipment. It permits separate collection of wax and liquid samples (from each flow line), allowing operation with high productivities of C5+ hydrocarbons. The latter is crucial for a complete understanding of FTS product compositions and will represent an advantage over high-throughput setups with more than ten flows where such instrumental considerations lead to elevated equipment volume, cost, and operation complexity. The identical performance (of the six flows) under similar reaction conditions was assured by testing a same catalyst batch, loaded in all microreactors.
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