Rational synthesis of novel reforming catalysts
Ewbank, Jessica Lee
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Biomass gasification offers the chance to produce carbon neutral, renewable fuels. One of the main problems facing the commercialization of biomass gasification technology is the presence of large quantities of methane and carbon dioxide in the biogas. Catalytic reforming of these wastes allows for effective utilization of biomass derived syngas. In most reforming studies, impregnation methods are the primary synthesis technique. Impregnation methods often lead to poor dispersion and are un-reproducible from batch to batch. In the development of a novel catalyst for reforming applications, another preparation method is implemented, controlled adsorption (CA). Ni/Al2O3 and Co/Al2O3 prepared by CA are compared against catalysts that were prepared by a more traditional method, dry impregnation (DI). It is found that controlling the metal deposition provides catalysts with higher dispersion and consequently higher activity for methane dry reforming. NiAl2O4 catalysts prepared by Pechini synthesis were also studied for catalytic conditioning of biomass derived syngas. Physicochemical characterization revealed unique structural properties, indicated a high degree of mobility of nickel in the aluminate structure, and demonstrated the regeneration properties of nickel aluminates under harsh reaction conditions, which will be important at extended reaction times when catalyst regeneration becomes necessary. Fourfold coordinated nickel species are believed to be responsible for high, stable methane dry reforming activity and metallic nickel is believed to be the active site that allows for high, stable conversion during methane dry reforming.