Isabela Dancini Pontes, Marcos de Souza, Fernando Alves Silva, Mara H. Neves Olsen, Christian G. Alonso, Giselly S. Bianchi, Antonio Medina Neto, Guilherme M. Pereira, Nádia R. C. Fernandes Machado

Chemical Engineering Journal – Volume: 273; Pages: 66–74; DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2015.03.032

The increasing importance of environmentally friendly processes leads to science in search of new technologies, like the generation of electrical power from hydrogen in fuel cells. Thus, a good alternative for producing hydrogen is ethanol steam reforming, since ethanol comes from a renewable resource. Hydrogen production from ethanol steam reforming was evaluated for the CuNi/CeO2 and CuNi/Nb2O5–Na catalysts with and without nitrogen as the carrier gas. For the catalyst supported in ceria, the presence of inert favored the steam reforming reaction with a small increased in the conversion of ethanol. Additionally, the reduction ability of ceria, in the conditions tested, enabled the formation of acetone through the interaction of molecules with the support. For Nb2O5 supported catalyst, the presence of inert showed lower conversion. It happened because filamentous coke the drag with some metal particles, and higher selectivity to H2. Coke formation was observed for both catalysts, but only CuNi/Nb2O5–Na presented sintering. The catalysts presented distinct behaviors, due to their markedly different support characteristics. The presence of N2 in the reactional system influences expressively the distribution of products and the ethanol conversion for both catalysts tested. The carrier gas can favor the selectivity of H2 and the ethanol steam reforming reaction, depending on the support used.