The Schwank Group

-Carbon Deactivation of Reforming Catalysts For Heavy Hydrocarbons-

Xiaoyin Chen and Johannes Schwank

XPS Spectra of Post-Reaction Samples

Deposited carbon characterized by XPS post isooctane
autothermal reforming over Ni/Ce-Zr-O catalysts

Carbon Deposition Rates

Comparison of average rate of carbon deposition over
Ni/CZO and Ni/CZO/monolith catalysts post dodecane
autothermal reforming

The fuel economy and the concern of CO2 emissions are two important driving factors in the development of more efficient vehicles that emit less greenhouse gases. One of solutions is the development of a durable reforming catalyst capable of converting heavy or liquid hydrocarbons to reformate (CO + H2) that has long been the goal of the fuel processing community. This goal is driven by the desire to produce mobile fuel cell systems that run on reformate derived from liquid fuels to take advantage of the superior energy densities of liquid fuels. However, one of the many challenges facing liquid fuel reforming catalysts is the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons without the deposition of deleterious carbon species, which degrade the catalyst both chemically and mechanically.

In the development of robust hydrocarbon reforming catalyst, it is important to elucidate the factors influencing carbon deposition on the catalyst surface. Studies on carbon formation have been extensively done in the past decades for the reforming of methane and light hydrocarbons. Carbon deposition can be minimized by strategies including modifications of the composition and properties of catalysts, and modifications of reaction parameters. Liquid hydrocarbons are easier to reform than CH4, but lead to more carbon formation, as the reforming of liquid hydrocarbons involves the breaking of not only C-H, but also C-C bonds.

The goal of this project is to optimize the autothermal reforming, steam reforming, and partial oxidation reforming reactions of hydrocarbons to achieve maximum hydrogen yield while minimizing carbon deposition. Fundamental studies aim at identifying what types of carbon are deposited and how these carbon species are axially distributed through monolithic catalysts during isooctane and dodecane reforming.

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