Theoretical and experimental understanding on ethanol steam reforming for H-2 production

Jia Zhang, Ziyi Zhong, X. M. Cao, P. Hu, Michael B. Sullivan, Luwei Chen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


H2 is considered to be a potential alternative fuel due to its high energy density by weight and working with pollution free. Currently, ethanol conversion to hydrogen has drawn much attention because it provides a viable way for H2 production from renewable resources. In this work, we combined theoretical and experimental efforts to study the reaction mechanism of ethanol steam reforming on Rh catalysts. The results suggest that acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) is an important reaction intermediate in the reaction on nano-sized Rh catalyst. Our theoretical work suggests that the H-bond effect significantly modifies the ethanol decomposition pathway. The possible reaction pathway on Rh (211) surface is suggested as: CH3CH2OH → CH3CH2O → CH3CHO → CH3CO → CH3+CO → CH2+CO → CH+CO → C+CO, followed by the water gas shift reaction to yield H2 and CO2. It was found that that the water gas shift reaction is paramount in the ethanol steam reforming process.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2014
Event248th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (American-Chemical-Society) - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201414 Aug 2014


Conference248th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (American-Chemical-Society)
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

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