In this study, we reported on the effect of promoting Ni/ZrO2 catalysts with Ce, Ca (two different loadings), and Y for the aqueous-phase reforming (APR) of methanol. We mainly focused on the effect of the redox properties of ceria and the basicity provided by calcium or yttrium on the activity and selectivity of Ni in this reaction. A systematic characterization of the catalysts was performed using complementary methods such as XRD, XPS, TPR, CO2-TPD, H2 chemisorption, HAADF-STEM, and EDS-STEM. Our results reveal that the improvement in reducibility derived from the incorporation of Ce did not have a positive impact on catalytic behaviour thus contrasting with the results reported in the literature for other Ce-based catalytic compositions. On the contrary, the available Ni-metallic surface and the presence of weak basic sites derived from Ca incorporation seem to play a major role on the catalytic performance for APR of methanol. The best performance was found for a Ce-free catalyst with a molar Ca content of 4%.
- Aqueous-phase reforming