Water fractions derived from biofuel production contain oxygenated hydrocarbons that can be converted by aqueous-phase reforming (APR) into hydrogen. As a result, the product efficiency of biorefineries may improve. However, the hydrothermal and high pressure operating conditions of APR limit the reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and catalyst stability. To overcome these limitations, an active and durable catalyst should be developed to selectively convert oxygenated hydrocarbons into hydrogen. For this study, methanol was selected as a model compound. Nickel-based catalysts with dopants such as copper and cerium and different supports were tested for the APR of methanol. The results revealed enhanced performance of doped catalysts in comparison to monometallic materials, and the effect of supports improved in the order α-Al2O3 < β-SiC < ZrO2 < γ-Al2O3. Accordingly, NiCe/γ-Al2O3 exhibited the highest values of methanol conversion and hydrogen yield. These results satisfied the target of this study to develop an active and hydrogen-selective catalyst and proved the suitability of cerium-doped nickel on alumina to convert methanol into hydrogen.
- Aqueous-phase reforming
- Nickel-based catalyst