Zircon Supported Copper Catalysts for the Steam Reforming of Methanol


Steam reforming of methanol (SRM) is known as one of the most favorable catalytic processes for producinghydrogen. Current research on zirconia, Zro2 supported copper catalyst revealed that CuO/zr02 as an active catalyst forthe SRM. Zircon, ZrSi04 is available from the by-product of tin mining. In the work presented here, the catalyticproperties of CuO/ZrSi04 with various copper oxide compositions ranging from 2.70% (catalyst I), 4.12% (catalyst II),and 7.12 %-mass (catalyst III), synthesized by an incipient wetness impregnation technique, were investigated tomethanol conversion, selectivity towards CO formation, and effect of ZnO addition (7.83%CuO/8.01%ZnO/ZrSi04 =catalyst V). The catalytic activity was obtained using a fixed bed reactor and the zircon supported catalyst activity wascompared to those of CuO/ZnO/AI203 catalyst (catalyst IV) and commercial Kujang LTSC catalyst. An X-ray powderdiffraction (XRD) analysis was done to identify the abundant phases of the catalysts. The catalysts topography andparticle diameter were measured with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and composition of the catalysts wasmeasured by SEM-EDX, scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive using X-ray analysis. The results of thisresearch provide information on the possibility of using zircon (ZrSi04) as solid support for SRM catalysts.Keywords: Steam reforming of methanol; incipient wetness impregnation technique; CuO/ZrSi04; CO formation. M. Widiastri, Fendy, and I N. MarsihInorganic and Physical Chemistry Group, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences,Institut Teknologi Bandung, fl. Ganesha 10 Bandung 40132, Indonesia