Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alternative energy: A cooler way to clean hydrogen

Date:
June 19, 2013
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
A process known as ethanol steam reforming is creating opportunities for fuel cell researchers, thanks to the recent rise of the bioethanol industry. This technique generates hydrogen gas (H2) directly within fuel cell systems onboard vehicles by decomposing bioethanol in the presence of special catalysts -- an approach that could use current gasoline delivery infrastructures to power alternative energy transportation.

A process known as ethanol steam reforming is creating opportunities for fuel cell researchers, thanks to the recent rise of the bioethanol industry. This technique generates hydrogen gas (H2) directly within fuel cell systems onboard vehicles by decomposing bioethanol in the presence of special catalysts -- an approach that could use current gasoline delivery infrastructures to power alternative energy transportation. Currently, ethanol steam reforming suffers from a major obstacle: its multiple reaction pathways can produce toxic carbon monoxide (CO) byproducts that ruin fuel cell membranes.

Lin Huang, Jianyi Lin and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore have now prepared a novel metal catalyst that can eradicate CO emissions from ethanol-derived H2 at temperatures 50 °C lower than previous catalysts.

Low-temperature ethanol steam reforming boosts the safety and efficiency of fuel processing onboard vehicles, but requires a careful choice of catalysts. Rhodium (Rh), a relatively scarce transition metal, has gained attention among chemists because it targets ethanol's carbon-carbon bond -- the most difficult part of the alcohol to decompose. However, Rh catalysts tend to generate CO and methane byproducts when steam reforming conditions fall below 350 °C.

Huang, Lin and co-workers investigated whether they could resolve Rh's shortcomings with cobalt (Co), a less expensive transition metal that has high selectivity toward H2 production at low temperatures. They explored whether Co could be combined with Rh on a nanostructured oxide surface to produce a dual-component catalyst. While making a mixed catalyst is relatively straightforward, finding one that maximizes the benefits of both metals for efficient steam reforming is not as easy. Therefore, the team investigated how different metallic precursors could achieve an ideal interaction between Rh and Co atoms on the supporting surface.

Their experiments revealed that catalysts consisting of Rh and Co, prepared from metal carbonyl precursors, gave high yields of extraordinarily clean H2 with no CO emissions at temperatures as low as 300 °C. According to Huang, these findings indicate that atomic interactions between the metals favor a particular pathway, known as the water-gas shift, which converts CO and water into H2 and carbon dioxide. However, mixed catalysts made from metal nitrate precursors failed to yield CO-free H2, presumably because of poor atomic interactions.

The team now faces two challenges: uncovering the mechanistic reasons why supported Rh-Co dual-component catalysts are so effective; and, reducing the build-up of carbonaceous coke deposits that adversely affect catalytic activity and stability during ethanol steam reforming.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lin Huang, Catherine Choong, Luwei Chen, Zhan Wang, Ziyi Zhong, Carlos Campos-Cuerva, Jianyi Lin. Monometallic Carbonyl-Derived CeO2-Supported Rh and Co Bicomponent Catalysts for CO-Free, High-Yield H2Generation from Low-Temperature Ethanol Steam Reforming. ChemCatChem, 2013; 5 (1): 220 DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201200452

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Alternative energy: A cooler way to clean hydrogen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619161546.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2013, June 19). Alternative energy: A cooler way to clean hydrogen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619161546.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Alternative energy: A cooler way to clean hydrogen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619161546.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins