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Keywords:

  • fuel cells;
  • green chemistry;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • hydrogen;
  • oxidation

Abstract

Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles feature high energy efficiency and minor environmental impact. Liquid fuels are ideal hydrogen carriers, which can catalytically be converted into syngas or hydrogen to power vehicles. Among the potential liquid fuels, alcohols have several advantages. The hydrogen/carbon ratio is higher than that of other liquid hydrocarbons or oxygenates, especially in the case of methanol. In addition, alcohols can be derived from renewable biomass resources. Catalytic partial oxidation of methanol or ethanol offers immense potential for onboard hydrogen generation due to its rapid reaction rate and exothermic nature. These benefits stimulate a burgeoning research community in catalyst design, reaction engineering, and mechanistic investigation. The purpose of this Minireview is to provide insight into syngas and hydrogen production from methanol and ethanol partial oxidation, particularly highlighting catalytic chemistry.