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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Development of Mesoporous Nanocatalysts for Production of Hydrogen and Fisher Tropsch Studies
by Abrokwah, Richard Yeboah, Ph.D., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 2016, 221; 10117803
Abstract (Summary)

The primary aim of this study was to develop mesoporous nanocatalysts for (i) hydrogen production via steam reforming of methanol (SRM) in a tubular reactor, and (ii) syngas conversion to hydrocarbons via Fisher-Tropsch synthesis using silicon microchannel microreactors. The mesoporous catalysts for SRM were prepared by an optimized one-pot hydrothermal synthesis procedure. The catalysts were investigated for SRM activity in a packed bed tubular reactor using metals, namely, Cu, Co, Ni, Pd, Zn, and Sn. The metals were incorporated in different supports -MCM-41, SBA-15, CeO2, TiO2, and ZrO2 to investigate the influence of support on catalyst properties. A sharp contrast in catalyst performance was noticed depending on the type of support employed. For example, in SRM at 250 °C, Cu supported on amorphous silica SBA-15 and MCM-41 produced significantly less CO (< 7%) compared to other crystalline supports Cu-TiO2 and Cu/ZrO2 that showed high CO selectivity of ∼56% and ∼37%, respectively. Amongst all the metals studied for SRM activity using 1:3 methanol:water mole ratio at 250 °C, 10%Cu-MCM-41 showed the best performance with 68% methanol conversion, 100% H2 , ∼6 % CO, 94% CO2 selectivities, and no methane formation. Furthermore, 10%Cu-CeO2 yielded the lowest CO selectivity of 1.84% and the highest CO2 selectivity of ∼98% at 250 °C. Stability studies of the catalysts conducted for time-on-stream of 40 h at 300 °C revealed that Cu-MCM41 was the most stable and displayed consistent steady state conversion of ∼74%. Our results indicate that, although coking played an influential role in deactivation of most catalysts, thermal sintering and changes in MCM-41 structure can be responsible for the catalyst deactivation. For monomtetallic systems, the MCM-41 supported catalysts especially Pd and Sn showed appreciable hydrothermal stability under the synthesis and reaction conditions. While bimetallic Pd-Co-MCM-41 and Cu-Ni-MCM-41 catalysts produced more CO, Cu-Zn-MCM-41 and Cu-Sn-MCM-41exhibited better SRM activity, and produced much less CO and CH4. In spite of the improved the stability and dispersion of the monometallic active sites in the support, no noticeable synergistic activity was observed in terms of H2 and CO selectivities in the multimetallic catalysts. For the Fisher-Tropsch (F-T) studies, Co-TiO 2, Fe-TiO2 and Ru-TiO2 catalysts were prepared by the sol-gel method and coated on 116 microchannels (50μm wide x 100μm deep) of a Si-microreactor. The F-T process parameters such as temperature, pressure and flow rates were controlled by an in-house setup programmed by LabVIEW®. The effect of temperature on F-T activity in the range of 150 to 300°C was investigated at 1 atm, a flow rate of 6 ml/min and a constant H2:CO molar ratio of 2:1. In our initial studies at 220 °C, 12%Ru-TiO2 showed higher CO conversion of 74% and produced the highest C2-C4 hydrocarbon selectivity-of ∼11% ethane, 22% propane and ∼17% butane. The overall catalyst stability and performance was in the order of 12%Ru-TiO2>> 12%Fe-TiO2 > 12%Co-TiO2.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kuila, Debasish
Commitee: Aravamudhan, Shyam, Deshmane, Vishwanath G., Lou, Jianzhong, Schimmel, Keith
School: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Department: Energy and Environmental Systems
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Energy, Chemistry, Materials science
Keywords: Catalyst stability, Fisher tropsch synthesis, Hydrothermal, Mesoporous catalysts, Methanol reforming, One-pot synthesis
Publication Number: 10117803
ISBN: 978-1-339-79176-0
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