Hydrogen production by steam gasification of polypropylene with various nickel catalysts

Chunfei Wu, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Several nickel-based catalysts (Ni/Al2O3, Ni/MgO, Ni/CeO2, Ni/ZSM-5, Ni-Al, Ni-Mg-Al and Ni/CeO2/Al2O3) have been prepared and investigated for their suitability for the production of hydrogen from the two-stage pyrolysis-gasification of polypropylene. Experiments were conducted at a pyrolysis temperature of 500 °C and gasification temperature was kept constant at 800 °C with a catalyst/polypropylene ratio of 0.5. Fresh and reacted catalysts were characterized using a variety of methods, including, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that Ni/Al2O3 was deactivated by two types of carbons (monoatomic carbons and filamentous carbons) with a total coke deposition of 11.2 wt.% after reaction, although it showed to be an effective catalyst for the production of hydrogen with a production of 26.7 wt.% of the theoretical yield of hydrogen from that available in the polypropylene. The Ni/MgO catalyst showed low catalytic activity for H2 production, which might be due to the formation of monoatomic carbons on the surface of the catalyst, blocking the access of gaseous products to the catalyst. Ni-Al (1:2) and Ni-Mg-Al (1:1:2) catalysts prepared by co-precipitation showed good catalytic abilities in terms of both H2 production and prevention of coke formation. The ZSM-5 zeolite with higher surface area was also shown to be a good support for the nickel-based catalyst, since, the Ni/ZSM-5 catalyst showed a high rate of hydrogen production (44.3 wt.% of theoretical) from the pyrolysis-gasification of polypropylene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-161
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 07 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalyst
  • Gasification
  • Nickel
  • Polypropylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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