Highly selective PtCo bimetallic nanoparticles on silica for continuous production of hydrogen from aqueous phase reforming of xylose

Abstract

Hydrogen (H2) is a promising energy vector for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Lignocellulosic biomass waste has been introduced as one of the abundant and carbon-neutral H2 sources. Among those, xylose with its short carbon chain has emerged attractive, where H2 can be catalytically released in an aqueous reactor. In this study, a composite catalyst system consisting of silica (SiO2)-supported platinum (Pt)-cobalt (Co) bimetallic nanoparticles was developed for aqueous phase reforming of xylose conducted at 225 °C and 29.3 bar. The PtCo/SiO2 catalyst showed a significantly higher H2 production rate and selectivity than that of Pt/SiO2, whereas Co/SiO2 shows no activity in H2 production. The highest selectivity for useful liquid byproducts was obtained with PtCo/SiO2. Moreover, CO2 emissions throughout the reaction were reduced compared to those of monometallic Pt/SiO2. The PtCo bimetallic nanocatalyst offers an inexpensive, sustainable, and durable solution with high chemical selectivity for scalable reforming of hard-to-ferment pentose sugars

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