Investigation of Ni/SiO2 catalysts prepared at different conditions for hydrogen production from ethanol steam reforming

Chunfei Wu, Valerie Dupont, Mohamad Anas Nahil, Binlin Dou, Haisheng Chen, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Ni/SiO2 catalysts prepared by a sol–gel method have been investigated for hydrogen production via steam reforming of ethanol using a continuous flow, fixed bed reactor system. Chemical equilibrium calculations were also performed to determine the effects of temperature and molar steam to carbon ratio on hydrogen production. The acidity of the preparation solution (modified by nitric acid and ammonia) and calcination atmosphere (air and N2) were investigated in the preparation of the catalysts. BET surface area and porosity, temperature-programmed oxidation (TPO), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to characterise the prepared catalysts. The BET surface area was reduced when the solution acidity was lowered during the sol–gel preparation process. A pH value less than 2.0 was necessary to achieve high metal dispersion in the catalyst. Smaller NiO particles were obtained when the catalyst was calcined in N2. Material balances on ethanol steam reforming at 600 °C using the prepared Ni/SiO2 catalysts were determined, and higher hydrogen production with lower coke deposition on the reacted catalysts were also obtained from the catalysts calcined in N2 atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Issue number2
Early online date09 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalyst
  • Ethanol
  • Hydrogen
  • Nickel
  • Reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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