(439g) Low Temperature Steam Methane Reforming Using Lanthanides Modified Ni/Al2O3 Catalyst for Hydrogen Production for Fuel Cells

Ahmed, S., King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
Katikaneni, S. P., Saudi Aramco
Harale, A. X., Saudi Aramco
A series of selected lanthanides (La, Ce, Pr, Sm, Eu, and Gd) modified Ni/Al2O3 catalysts were prepared by impregnation technique for low temperature methane steam reforming to produce hydrogen for fuel cells. According to the thermodynamic equilibrium analysis, it is possible to operate methane steam reforming at low temperatures. Low temperature steam reforming in combination with hydrogen selective membrane presents great potential of intensifying the classical industrial hydrogen production process via natural gas. A highly active catalyst is required for the production of hydrogen at lower temperatures. The catalysts prepared in this study were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Brunauer−Emmett−Teller (BET), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray, and temperature-programmed reduction (TPR) characterization techniques. The performance evaluation of the prepared catalysts was conducted in a fixed bed micro-reactor at steam to carbon ratio of 3.0 and at a pressure of 2.1 bar over a range of temperature 500 to 600 C. The results indicated that Pr modified Ni/Al2O3 catalyst performed better in terms of conversion of methane to other catalysts in the series. Further investigations were carried out by varying the amount of Pr over a range of 1 to 7 wt% and found that 3% Pr modified 12% Ni/Al2O3 catalyst showed better performance for the SMR reaction. Pr−Ni catalyst has the higher BET surface area among other synthesized lanthanide-promoted 12%Ni/γ-Al2O3 catalysts. TEM analysis indicated uniform metal dispersion of promoted catalysts. Moreover, TPR analysis indicated an optimum interaction between the metal and the support in the Pr−Ni catalyst. The results on catalyst screening, testing and characterization will be presented along with follow-up reactor design for integrated membrane reactor with reaction and separation for hydrogen production.