• Open Access

Hydrogen Production by Methanol Steam Reforming on Copper Boosted by Zinc-Assisted Water Activation


  • This work was financially supported by the Austrian Science Fund through grant F4503-N16. C.R. acknowledges a PhD scholarship granted by the Max Planck Society. The authors thank the HZB/BESSY II staff for their support of the in situ XPS measurements at beamline ISISS-PGM.


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A Zn-in-Cu near-surface alloy covered by a thin wetting layer of interfacial Zn(ox) is the most active state of an inverse CuZn catalyst. The bifunctional action of the mixed Cu(Zn)0/Zn(ox) surface allows for selective dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde and for optimized water activation, thus providing the required source of oxygen for the total oxidation of HCHO to CO2.