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-Al2O3supported 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 H2production 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-Al2O3support. 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 H2selectivity reaching 21.7% of the dry product gas. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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