Copper-zinc oxide catalyst powders were successfully impregnated into paper-based composites (catalyst paper) of ceramic and silicon carbide (SiC) fibers, prepared using an established wet papermaking process. The catalyst powders were homogeneously scattered over the fiber-mix networks tailored within the catalyst paper. Samples of catalyst paper were subjected to the methanol steam reforming (MSR) process below 300 °C to produce hydrogen gas for fuel cell applications. During this process, the catalyst paper samples exhibited a higher methanol conversion efficiency and lower carbon monoxide concentration than those produced either by a commercial pellet-type Cu/ZnO catalyst or the original powdered Cu/ZnO catalyst. The high heat conductivity of the SiC fibers enhanced the catalytic performance, especially contributing to the suppression of the reverse water gas shift reaction. The heat transfer and the heat distribution inside the catalyst paper were improved by the SiC fibers. The MSR efficiency per catalyst weight was greatly influenced by the addition of pulp fibers, which made the catalyst paper porous. Results indicated that these in-paper void structures are suitable for the MSR reaction. Flexible catalyst paper is a promising, easy-to-handle material for practical MSR applications, due to the controllable heat and pore characteristics involved in the MSR performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Process Chemistry and Technology