Development of cylindrical laminated methanol steam reforming microreactor with cascading metal foams as catalyst support

Wei Zhou, Yuzhi Ke, Qinghui Wang, Shaolong Wan, Jingdong Lin, Junpeng Zhang, K. S. Hui

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In this study, the cascading metal foams were used as catalyst supports for constructing a new type of cylindrical laminated methanol steam reforming microreactor for hydrogen production. The two-layer impregnation method was used to load the Cu/Zn/Al/Zr catalysts, and the ultrasonic vibration method was then employed to investigate the loading performance of metal foams with different types and thicknesses. Furthermore, the effect of the type of catalyst placement, pores per inch (PPI) and foam type on the performance of methanol steam reforming microreactor was studied by varying the gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) and reaction temperature. Compared with two other types of catalyst placement studied, the microreactor containing catalyst-loaded metal foams without clearance cascading (3 × 2) showed the highest hydrogen production performance. When the PPI of the metal foam was increased from 50 to 100, both the methanol conversion and the H2 flow rate gradually increased. Our results also showed that a microreactor with Cu foam as a catalyst support exhibits increased hydrogen production and higher stability than those of a microreactor with Ni foam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
Early online date23 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Catalyst support
  • Hydrogen production
  • Metal foams
  • Methanol steam reforming
  • Microreactor

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