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Issue 36, 2008
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Controlling ZnO morphology for improved methanol steam reforming reactivity

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Abstract

The selectivity towards CO2 during steam reforming of methanol on Pd increases in the order Al2O3 < ZrO2 < ZnO. However, conventional catalyst preparation can damage the ZnO surface, even causing complete dissolution. The faceted, prismatic ZnO crystals in the support (Aldrich) get easily destroyed during catalyst preparation. We show in this work that, by using organic precursors, the faceted ZnO particles can be preserved. The role of ZnO morphology on reactivity for methanol steam reforming (MSR) is explored. Since the MSR reactivity and selectivity is also a function of the particle size of the nanoparticles as well as the presence of the PdZn ordered alloy phase, we have controlled for both these parameters to derive the true influence of the support. We find that the catalyst prepared from an organic precursor is more active than one prepared from acidic precursors, despite having similar particle size and extent of bulk PdZn ordered alloy formation. The results suggest that preserving certain ZnO surfaces is beneficial, and the ZnO support may play an important role in the overall reaction of methanol steam reforming.

Graphical abstract: Controlling ZnO morphology for improved methanol steam reforming reactivity

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Jan 2008, accepted on 21 May 2008 and first published on 23 Jul 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B800009C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008,10, 5584-5590
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    Controlling ZnO morphology for improved methanol steam reforming reactivity

    A. M. Karim, T. Conant and A. K. Datye, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008, 10, 5584
    DOI: 10.1039/B800009C

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