In order to develop a better understanding on sulfur poisoning of reforming catalysts in fuel processing for hydrogen production, steam reforming of liquid hydrocarbons was performed over CeO2-Al2O3 supported monometallic Ni and Rh and bimetallic Rh-Ni catalysts at 550 and 800 °C. XANES was used to identify the sulfur species in the used catalysts and to study their impacts on the metal surface properties probed by XPS. It was found that both monometallic catalysts rapidly deactivated at 550 °C, and showed poor sulfur tolerance. Although ineffective for the Ni catalyst, increasing the temperature to 800 °C dramatically improved the sulfur tolerance of the Rh catalyst. XANES revealed that metal sulfide and organic sulfide are the dominant sulfur species on the used Ni catalyst, while sulfonate and sulfate predominate on the used Rh catalyst. The presence of sulfur induced severe carbon deposition on the Ni catalyst at 800 °C. The superior sulfur tolerance of the Rh catalyst at 800 °C may be associated with its capability in sulfur oxidation. It is likely that the formation of the oxygen-shielded sulfur structure of sulfonate and sulfate can suppress the poisoning impact of sulfur on Rh by inhibiting direct rhodium-sulfur interaction. Moreover, XPS indicated that the metal surface properties of the Rh catalysts after the reaction without and with sulfur at 800 °C are similar, suggesting that sulfur poisoning on Rh was mitigated under the high-temperature condition. Although the Rh-Ni catalyst exhibited better sulfur tolerance than the monometallic catalysts at 550 °C, its catalytic performance was inferior compared with the Rh catalyst in the sulfur-containing reaction at 800 °C probably due to the severe carbon deposition on the bimetallic catalyst.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Process Chemistry and Technology