Several methods (impregnation, co-precipitation and hydrothermal synthesis) have been comparatively examined for the preparation of precursors to Cu/Zn/Al catalysts. Steam reforming and oxidative steam reforming of methanol was performed using the laboratory-prepared and a commercial Cu/Zn/Al catalysts at a relatively low temperature (230°C) for catalytic production of H2. The results show that the preparation method significantly affects the catalyst performance with respect to methanol conversion, H2 yield and CO concentration. The catalyst with lower copper-reduction temperature shows higher activity for methanol conversion at lower temperature. The best Cu/Zn/Al catalyst has been prepared by a co-precipitation method, which shows high activity for methanol conversion (99-100%) and H2 production (71-76%) with very low CO concentration (0.05-0.15%) in steam reforming (H2O/methanol = 1.43 mol ratio) and in oxidative steam reforming (O2/methanol = 0.158-0.474 mol ratio) at a low temperature (230°C).
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