Nanoscale Ce-ZrO2, synthesized by cationic surfactant-assisted method, has useful partial oxidation activity to convert palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD; containing C16–C18 compounds) to hydrogen-rich gas with low carbon formation problem under moderate temperatures. At 1123 K with the inlet O/C ratio of 1.0, the main products from the reaction are H2, CO, CO2, and CH4 with slight formations of gaseous high hydrocarbons (i.e., C2H4, C2H6, and C3H6), which could all be eliminated by applying higher O/C ratio (above 1.25) or higher temperature (1173 K). Compared with the microscale Ce-ZrO2 synthesized by conventional coprecipitation method, less H2 production with relatively higher C2H4, C2H6, and C3H6 formations are generated from the reaction over microscale Ce-ZrO2. The better reaction performances of nanoscale Ce-ZrO2 are linearly correlated with its higher specific surface area as well as higher oxygen storage capacity and lattice oxygen mobility, according to the reduction/oxidation measurement and 18O/16O isotope exchange study. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011
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