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Steam reforming over Co-based catalysts

The objective of this project is to examine the steam reforming of ethanol and other bio-derived liquids over cobalt-based catalyst systems, enabling small-scale distributed hydrogen production from renewable sources.  The study targets the development of a catalytic system active in the 350-550 °C temperature range without relying on the use of precious metals.

The reaction network involved in these reactions is quite complex with many intermediate and side reactions, which impact selectivity and yield. Fundamental mechanisms in the catalytic steam reforming of ethanol are investigated by employing various catalyst characterization techniques. Our studies have focused on elucidating the reaction networks and mechanisms as well as understanding the phenomena that lead to catalyst deactivation.

Our more recent studies include in-situ characterization of Co oxide surfaces using near atmospheric pressure XPS under ethanol steam reforming conditions. This is a collaborative study with Professor Franklin Tao from University of Kansas.