The development and characterization of Ni-Cu/Al\(_2\)O\(_3\) catalyst for hydrogen production via multi-fuel reforming

Khzouz, Marcin (2014). The development and characterization of Ni-Cu/Al\(_2\)O\(_3\) catalyst for hydrogen production via multi-fuel reforming. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Developing a catalyst that accepts a wide range of fuels for hydrogen production is an important design aspect for the successful multi-fuel reformer. This thesis aims to synthesize and evaluate Ni-Cu/Al\(_2\)O\(_3\) catalysts for methanol and methane steam reforming. Detailed characterizations of catalysts, as well as the role of the bimetallic nature of Ni-Cu metals on the catalytic reaction are presented and discussed.
A series of Ni\(_x\)-Cu\(_y\)/Al\(_2\)O\(_3\) catalysts with various metals loadings (x= 10, 7, 5, 3 and 0% weight and y= 0, 3, 5, 7 and 10%, respectively) were prepared. The temperature programed reduction revealed that bimetallic catalysts displayed a new hydrogen uptake peak compared with monometallic metal catalyst and this was attributed to NiCuO reduction. The X-ray diffraction patterns indicated Ni\(_x\)Cu\(_1\)\(_-\)\(_x\)O phase formation.
The methanol steam reforming was evaluated over the prepared catalysts over the range of temperatures 225-325°C in a fixed bed reactor. It was found that bimetallic Ni-Cu had a strong influence on the amount of CO\(_2\) and CO by controlling the water gas shift reaction and decomposition reaction. The highest amount of hydrogen produced among the other prepared catalysts was 2.2 mol/mol-CH3OH for 5%Cu-5%Ni at 325°C.
Low temperature methane steam reforming at 500-700°C was investigated. The synergetic effect between Cu and Ni metals was also investigated, showing that Cu provides a stabilizing effect by forming Ni-Cu alloy and controlling the catalyst structure. The 7%Ni-3%Cu revealed the highest conversion of 71.1% methane and produced the maximum amount of hydrogen at 2.4 mol/mol-CH4 among the other prepared catalysts at 600°C and S/C of 3. The bimetallic reacted Ni-Cu catalysts revealed less carbon selectivity (0.9% for 5%Ni-5%Cu) compared to 10%Ni (4.6%) catalyst at 600°C.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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