Image Number 3 for United States Patent #7879756.
A method of producing an iron catalyst for catalyzing the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide is disclosed. The method comprises using a reduced amount of acid for iron dissolution compared to certain previous methods. The resulting acidic iron mixture is heated without boiling to obtain a nitrate solution having a Fe.sup.2+:Fe.sup.3+ ratio in the range of about 0.01%:99.99% to about 100%:0% (wt:wt). Iron phases are precipitated at a lower temperature compared to certain previous methods. The recovered catalyst precursor is dried and sized to form particles having a size distribution between 10 microns and 100 microns. In embodiments, the Fe.sup.2+:Fe.sup.3+ ratio in the nitric acid solution may be in the range of from about 3%:97% to about 30%:70% (wt:wt) and the calcined catalyst may comprise a maghemite:hematite ratio of about 1%:99% to about 70%:30%.