Highly loaded Ni-based catalysts for low temperature ethanol steam reforming
This paper describes the design of high-loading Ni/Al2O3 catalysts (78 wt% Ni) for low temperature ethanol steam reforming. The catalysts were synthesized via both co-precipitation (COP) and impregnation (IMP) methods. All the catalysts were measured by N2 adsorption–desorption, XRD, H2-TPR, and H2 pulse chemisorption. The characterization results demonstrated that the preparation method and the loading significantly affected the nickel particle size, active nickel surface area and catalytic performance. Over COP catalysts, large nickel particles were presented in nickel aluminum mixed oxides. In comparison, IMP catalysts gained more “free” NiO particles with weak interaction with the aluminum oxide. Consequently, COP catalysts yielded smaller nickel particles and larger active nickel surface areas than those of IMP catalysts. High loading is beneficial for obtaining sufficient active nickel sites when nickel particles are dispersed via COP, whereas excessive nickel content is not desired for catalysts prepared by IMP. Specifically, the 78 wt% nickel loaded catalyst synthesized by COP possessed small nickel particles (∼6.0 nm) and an abundant active nickel area (35.1 m2 gcat−1). Consequently, COP-78 achieved superior stability with 92% ethanol conversion and ∼35% H2 selectivity at 673 K for 30 h despite the presence of a considerable amount of coke.