Hydrogen was produced over noble metal (Ir, Ru, Rh, Pd) catalysts supported on various oxides, including γ-Al2O3, CeO2, ZrO2and La2O3, via the autothermal reforming reaction of ethanol (ATRE) and oxidative reforming reaction of ethanol (OSRE). The conversion of ethanol and selectivites for hydrogen and byproducts such as methane, ethylene and acetaldehyde were studied. It was found that lanthana alone possessed considerable activity for the ATRE reaction, which could be used as a functional support for ATRE catalysts. It was demonstrated that Ir/La2O3prevented the formation of methane, and Rh/La2O3encumbered the production of ethylene and acetaldehyde. ATRE reaction was carried out over La2O3-supported catalysts (Ir/La2O3) with good stability on stream, high conversion, and excellent hydrogen selectivity approaching thermodynamic limit under autothermal condition. Typically, 3.4 H2molecules can be extracted from a pair of ethanol and water molecules over Ir(5wt%)/La2O3. The results presented in this paper indicate that Ir/La2O3can be used as a promising catalyst for hydrogen production via ATRE reaction from renewable ethanol. © 2009 CAS/DICP.
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