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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 28, Number 7
BKCSDE 28(7)
July 20, 2007 

Production of Hydrogen and Carbon Nanotubes from Catalytic Decomposition of Methane over Ni:Cu/Alumina Modified Supported Catalysts
Tajammul Hussain*, Mohammed Mazhar, Sarwat Iqbal, Sheraz Gul, Muzammil Hussain, Faical Larachi
CH4 decomposition, Ni:Cu/Al catalysts, Carbon nanotubes, Hydrogen
Hydrogen gas and carbon nanotubes along with nanocarbon were produced from commercial natural gas using fixed bed catalyst reactor system. The maximum amount of carbon (491 g/g of catalyst) formation was achieved on 25% Ni, 3% Cu supported catalyst without formation of CO/CO2. Pure carbon nanotubes with length of 308 nm having balloon and horn type shapes were also formed at 673 K. Three sets of catalysts were prepared by varying the concentration of Ni in the first set, Cu concentration in the second set and doping with K in the third set to investigate the effect on stabilization of the catalyst and production of carbon nanotubes and hydrogen by copper and potassium doping. Particle size analysis revealed that most of the catalyst particles are in the range of 20-35 nm. All the catalysts were characterized using powder XRD, SEM/EDX, TPR, CHN, BET and CO-chemisorption. These studies indicate that surface geometry is modified electronically with the formation of different Ni, Cu and K phases, consequently, increasing the surface reactivity of the catalyst and in turn the Carbon nanotubes/H2 production. The addition of Cu and K enhances the catalyst dispersion with the increase in Ni loadings and maximum dispersion is achieved on 25% Ni: 3% Cu/Al catalyst. Clearly, the effect of particle size coupled with specific surface geometry on the production of hydrogen gas and carbon nanotubes prevails. Addition of K increases the catalyst stability with decrease in carbon formation, due to its interaction with Cu and Ni, masking Ni and Ni:Cu active sites.
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