In the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis at atmospheric pressure in the presence of a cobalt catalyst the rate of conversion of carbon monoxide and hydrogen is reduced by the addition of diluents to the synthesis gas. The fall in reaction rate has been shown to be approximately directly proportional to the fall in concentration of the reactants. The proportion of gaseous to non-gaseous products increases with increasing dilution. For a fixed amount of diluent, the proportion of non-gaseous products increases with change in the nature of the diluent in the order nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide. By using as diluent carbon dioxide containing 14CO2, it has been shown that carbon dioxide does not participate in the synthesis under the conditions used in these experiments.

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