Projects per year
Co3O4, Fe2O3 and a mixture of the two oxides Co–Fe (molar ratio of Co3O4/Fe2O3 = 0.67 and atomic ratio of Co/Fe = 1) were prepared by the calcination of cobalt oxalate and/or iron oxalate salts at 500 °C for 2 h in static air using water as a solvent/dispersing agent. The catalysts were studied in the steam reforming of ethanol to investigate the effect of the partial substitution of Co3O4 with Fe2O3 on the catalytic behaviour. The reforming activity over Fe2O3, while initially high, underwent fast deactivation. In comparison, over the Co–Fe catalyst both the H2 yield and stability were higher than that found over the pure Co3O4 or Fe2O3 catalysts. DRIFTS-MS studies under the reaction feed highlighted that the Co–Fe catalyst had increased amounts of adsorbed OH/water; similar to Fe2O3. Increasing the amount of reactive species (water/OH species) adsorbed on the Co–Fe catalyst surface is proposed to facilitate the steam reforming reaction rather than decomposition reactions reducing by-product formation and providing a higher H2 yield.