We have devised a method for synthesizing 1-D carbon supported Ni metal-based catalysts (Ni/C) using supercritical fluids as a reaction medium. Using single walled carbon nanotubes or carbon fibers (CF) as a support; we circumvent the challenges typically associated with controllably loading metal particles onto these hydrophobic surfaces. For example, supercritical methanol allows the Ni particles (formed from nickel acetylacetonate) to reduce directly onto the surface of the carbon structure without using any surface functional groups. Here we show that this material can be used as a catalyst for the gasification of biomass in supercritical water - specifically for the production of hydrogen-rich gases. Nickel has been shown to increase gasification rates for biomass materials and to increase selectivity towards H2 over CO in the gasification products. The catalysts made in this work were able to gasify biomass with higher H2 yields as compared to the noncatalytic reactions and that with only the carbon support. Using supercritical water as the reaction medium, the Ni/CF catalyst produced a gas containing 31 mol % H2 and a yield of up to 7.6 mmol H2 per gram of biomass. We will present further detailed results from this study including the performance and characterization of these and other catalyst materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)