Characterization and activity test of commercial Ni/Al2O3, Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 and prepared NieCu/Al2O3 catalysts for hydrogen production from methane and methanol fuels
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In this study, methane and methanol steam reforming reactions over commercial Ni/Al2O3, commercial Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 and prepared NieCu/Al2O3 catalysts were investigated. Methane and methanol steam reforming reactions catalysts were characterized using various techniques. The results of characterization showed that Cu particles increase the active particle size of Ni (19.3 nm) in NieCu/Al2O3 catalyst with respect to the commercial Ni/ Al2O3 (17.9). On the other hand, Ni improves Cu dispersion in the same catalyst (1.74%) in comparison with commercial Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 (0.21%). A comprehensive comparison between these two fuels is established in terms of reaction conditions, fuel conversion, H2 selectivity, CO2 and CO selectivity. The prepared catalyst showed low selectivity for CO in both fuels and it was more selective to H2, with H2 selectivities of 99% in methane and 89% in methanol reforming reactions. A significant objective is to develop catalysts which can operate at lower temperatures and resist deactivation. Methanol steam reforming is carried out at a much lower temperature than methane steam reforming in prepared and commercial catalyst (275-325 o C). However, methane steam reforming can be carried out at a relatively low temperature on NieCu catalyst (600-650 o C) and at higher temperature in commercial methane reforming catalyst (700-800 o C). Commercial Ni/Al2O3 catalyst resulted in high coke formation (28.3% loss in mass) compared to prepared NieCu/Al2O3 (8.9%) and commercial Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts (3.5%).