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Water Gas Shift Reaction

The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction is an important step in the production of H2, where CO, which is produced from steam reforming or coal gasification, is reacted with water to give H2 and CO2. There has been renewed interest in the WGS reaction in recent years because of its necessity in conjunction with PEM fuel cell power generation. The high-temperature shift (HTS) reaction is performed at 320-450 °C using Fe-Cr oxides catalysts, while the low-temperature shift (LTS) reaction is conducted at 200-250 °C.  The LTS catalysts commonly used are Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 and precious metal-based catalysts. The WGS reactor currently represents the largest volume of any catalyst in a fuel processor due to the slow kinetics at temperatures where the equilibrium is favorable.  We have developed a novel catalytic system comprising oxides of Fe, Al and Cu, that widens the operating window such that a single-stage water gas shift process can achieve the desired conversions, eliminating the need for the two-stage WGS operation.