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Effect of CeO2 Addition to Al2O3 Supports for Pt Catalysts on the Aqueous-Phase Reforming of Glycerol



A series of Pt catalysts supported on Al2O3 that was doped with different amounts of CeO2 was developed, characterized, and tested in the aqueous-phase reforming (APR) of glycerol to H2. Catalyst 3Pt/3CeAl, which bore 3 wt % Pt on a support that contained 3 wt % CeO2, showed the highest carbon conversion to gas (85 %) and the highest H2 yield (80 %) for a feedstock of 1 wt % glycerol in water at 240 °C and 40 bar. A CeO2/Al2O3 support with only 1 wt % Pt also showed high H2 selectivity and carbon conversion to gas, as well as a much lower CH4 yield than the benchmark 3Pt/Al catalyst, clearly demonstrating that doping the support with 3 wt % CeO2 improved the APR of glycerol. H2 chemisorption results showed that the highest metal dispersion (58 %) and active surface area (4.3 m2 g−1) were achieved for the support that contained 3 wt % CeO2, and this effect appeared to be primarily responsible for the high H2 yield and carbon conversion to gas. No CO was observed in the product gas; therefore, this gas could potentially be used directly in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Thus, including CeO2 in the Al2O3 catalyst support enhanced both the activity and selectivity towards H2 of a Pt catalyst for the APR of glycerol.