Kinetics and dynamics of methanol steam reforming on CuO/ZnO/alumina catalyst

Rajesh Thattarathody, Moshe Sheintuch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The kinetic and dynamic behavior of the methanol steam reforming (MSR) over CuO/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst were followed at various steam to carbon (S/C) ratio using temperature ramping and steady state input conditions. The data is required for designing a methanol reformer-internal combustion engine (ICE) system, utilizing the reforming products as fuel for ICE while using the hot exhaust gases to heat the reformer. The catalyst exhibited high activity above 200 °C for MSR and above 250 °C for methanol decomposition reactions, making methanol a good hydrogen vector. The production of undesired byproducts, methyl formate and dimethyl ether, declined with increasing S/C and vanish at S/C = 1. Rate oscillations were observed during MSR on CuO/ZnO/Al2O3 under isothermal conditions and S/C ∼1 for the first time. Oscillations with a period of 10 min in order of magnitude, were observed in all MS signals with some phase shift between them. A simple kinetic model was developed for methanol decomposition (MD) using S/C = 0 data and the rate and activation energies were determined. Calculations using S/C = 1 data assuming MD followed by WGS, show that at high temperatures the WGS is close to equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Methanol decomposition
  • Methanol steam reforming
  • Rate oscillations
  • Water gas shift reaction


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