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 producing
hydrogen. Current research on zirconia, Zro2 supported copper catalyst revealed that CuO/zr02 as an active catalyst for
the SRM. Zircon, ZrSi04 is available from the by-product of tin mining. In the work presented here, the catalytic
properties 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 to
methanol 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 was
compared to those of CuO/ZnO/AI203 catalyst (catalyst IV) and commercial Kujang LTSC catalyst. An X-ray powder
diffraction (XRD) analysis was done to identify the abundant phases of the catalysts. The catalysts topography and
particle diameter were measured with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and composition of the catalysts was
measured by SEM-EDX, scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive using X-ray analysis. The results of this
research 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. Marsih Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Group, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences,
Institut Teknologi Bandung, fl. Ganesha 10 Bandung 40132, Indonesia