Kinetic investigations of the steam reforming of methanol over a Pt/In2O3/Al2O3 catalyst in microchannels
A kinetic study of methanol steam reforming over bimetallic Pt/In2O3/Al2O3 catalyst was carried out. The kinetic measurements were performed in a microstructured monolithic reactor with an external recycle free of temperature and concentration gradients. By the help of residence time distribution measurements it could be verified that the reactor showed the behaviour of an ideal continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The absence of external and internal concentration gradients could be proven by corresponding experiments and theoretical diagnostic criteria. The kinetic measurements performed by variation of the reactant inlet partial pressures revealed that in the temperature range from 310 °C to 355 °C the molar rate of methanol consumption mainly depends on the methanol partial pressure, especially at higher temperatures, whereas there is only minor dependence on the water partial pressure. Carbon dioxide has no inhibiting effect, whereas hydrogen showed a weak inhibiting effect. Two power laws and three Langmuir-Hinshelwood rate equations were created for the modelling of the kinetic data. Power laws could not be fitted to the measured values. Therefore the uses of Langmuir-Hinshelwood rate laws with temperature dependent sorption constants are inevitable for the modelling. The model discrimination revealed that the rate law derived from a mechanism, which assumes the dehydrogenation of an adsorbed methoxy-species as rate determining step, described the measured kinetic data second best. Optimum agreement between observed and predicted molar rates of methanol consumption was obtained when applying a Langmuir-Hinshelwood rate law assuming dissociative methanol and molecular water adsorption on the catalyst surface. Dissociative adsorption of water and methanol at the same active site may be excluded. This leads to a better evaluation of the models that assume molecular water adsorption at the same site where methanol ties or the ones with no participation of water in the rate determining step (RDS) under discrimination.