Mesoporous supported cobalt catalysts for enhanced hydrogen production during cellulose decomposition

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Journal Article
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2010, 97 (1-2), pp. 142 - 150
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Two groups of cobalt (Co) catalysts, supported on SBA-15 and MCM-41, respectively, were prepared by incipient wetness impregnation and tested for their influence on the thermal decomposition of acetyl cellulose. γ-Al2O3 supported Co catalysts were investigated as a comparison. A thermogravimetric analyser coupled with a mass spectrometer (TG-MS) was used to examine the influence of catalyst loading, support material and the presence of additional water vapour on H2 production and selectivity. Normalization of the raw MS data enabled semi-quantitative analysis of the product gas distribution, which facilitated reliable comparison between different experimental conditions. Catalysts were characterized by physisorption, chemisorption, TGA, XRD, SEM and TEM. SBA-15 and MCM-41 supported catalysts significantly elevated the yield and selectivity of H2, under dry Ar and with the injection of additional water vapour, when compared with the γ-Al2O3 support. 15 wt.%Co/SBA-15 and 10 wt.%Co/MCM-41 were identified as the most active catalysts from the two groups with indicative yields of 202 and 303 ml H2/g cellulose, respectively. The 10 wt.%Co/MCM-41 catalyst gave with the highest H2 selectivity reaching 21.7% of the dry product gas. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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