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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 496038, 12 pages
Research Article

A Phenomenological Study on the Synergistic Role of Precious Metals in the Steam Reforming of Logistic Fuels on Bimetal-Supported Catalysts

Chemical Engineering Department, The University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft Street, Toledo, OH 43606-3390, USA

Received 10 March 2011; Accepted 25 May 2011

Academic Editor: Markku Leskela

Copyright © 2011 Abdul-Majeed Azad and Desikan Sundararajan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fuel processors are required to convert sulfur-laden logistic fuels into hydrogen-rich reformate and deliver to the fuel cell stack with little or no sulfur. Since sulfur poisons and deactivates the reforming catalyst, robust sulfur-tolerant catalysts ought to be developed. In this paper, the development, characterization and evaluation of a series of reforming catalysts containing two noble metals (with total metal loading not exceeding 1 weight percent) supported on nanoscale ceria for the steam-reforming of kerosene is reported. Due to inherent synergy, a bimetallic catalyst is superior to its monometallic analog, for the same level of loading. The choice of noble metal combination in the bimetallic formulations plays a vital and meaningful role in their performance. Presence of ruthenium and/or rhodium in formulations containing palladium showed improved sulfur tolerance and significant enhancement in their catalytic activity and stability. Rhodium was responsible for higher hydrogen yields in the logistic fuel reformate. Duration of steady hydrogen production was higher in the case of RhPd (75 h) than for RuPd (68 h); hydrogen generation was stable over the longest period (88 h) with RuRh containing no Pd. A mechanistic correlation between the characteristic role of precious metals in the presence of each other is discussed.