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Selective Production of Methane from Aqueous Biocarbohydrate Streams over a Mixture of Platinum and Ruthenium Catalysts

Authors

  • Maria Fernanda Neira D'Angelo,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Vitaly Ordomsky,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. John van der Schaaf,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
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  • Prof. Jaap C. Schouten,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Tjeerd Alexander Nijhuis

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
    • Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven (The Netherlands)

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Abstract

A one-step process for the selective production of methane from low-value aqueous carbohydrate streams is proposed. Sorbitol, used herein as a model compound, is fully converted to methane, CO2, and a minor amount of H2 by using a physical mixture of Pt and Ru (1:5 in mass basis) at 220 °C and 35 bar. This conversion is the result of hydrogenolysis of part of the sorbitol over Ru and the in situ production of H2 through the aqueous-phase reforming of the remaining carbohydrate over Pt. A synergistic effect of the combination of these two catalysts results in the rapid and highly selective conversion of the carbohydrate to methane. This process offers the possibility of upgrading a low-value carbohydrate stream into a valuable fuel with no addition of H2. Exergy analysis reveals that nearly 80 % of the exergy of the reactant is recovered as methane.

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