Metal-catalysed steam reforming of ethanol in the production of hydrogen for fuel cell applications

J.P Breen, R Burch, Heather Coleman

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422 Citations (Scopus)


A range of oxide-supported metal catalysts have been investigated for the steam reforming of ethanol/water mixtures for the production of hydrogen. Alumina-supported catalysts are very active at lower temperatures for the dehydration of ethanol to ethene which, at higher temperatures, is converted into H2, CO, and CO2 as the major products and CH4 as a minor product. The order of activity of the metals is Rh>Pd>Ni=Pt. With ceria/zirconia-supported catalysts, the formation of ethene is not observed and the order of activity at higher temperatures is Pt≥Rh>Pd. By using combinations of a ceria/zirconia-supported metal catalyst with the alumina support it is shown that the formation of ethene does not inhibit the steam reforming reaction at higher temperatures. It is concluded that the support plays a significant role in the steam reforming of ethanol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Issue number1
Early online date29 Apr 2002
Publication statusPublished online - 29 Apr 2002


  • Fuel cell
  • Steam reforming
  • Metal catalyst


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