2Sahand University of Technology
Reactor and Catalysis Research Center
Steam reforming of methanol is one of the promising processes for on-board hydrogen production used in fuel cell applications. Due to the time and energy consuming issues associated with conventional synthesis methods, in this paper a quick, facile, and effective microwave-assisted solution combustion method was applied for fabrication of copper-based nanocatalysts to convert methanol to hydrogen. For this purpose, a series of nanocatalysts with different sorbitol/nitrates ratios were synthesized by microwave-assisted combustion method. Their physicochemical properties were studied by XRD, FESEM, EDX, BET and FTIR analyses. It was found that enhancement of sorbitol/nitrates ratio led to increase of CuO dispersion and specific surface area, as well as smaller, nanometric and homogeneously dispersed particles. These significant characteristic properties especially achieved by CZA(S/N=3) nanocatalyst, resulted in high methanol conversion and hydrogen selectivity even at low temperatures. This effective performance was accompanied by negligible CO production as undesired by-product as well as poison in fuel cell applications.
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