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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Feb 2;110(4):1686-94.

Reforming of oxygenates for H2 production: correlating reactivity of ethylene glycol and ethanol on Pt(111) and Ni/Pt(111) with surface d-band center.

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Center for Catalytic Science and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.


The dehydrogenation and decarbonylation of ethylene glycol and ethanol were studied using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) on Pt(111) and Ni/Pt(111) bimetallic surfaces, as probe reactions for the reforming of oxygenates for the production of H2 for fuel cells. Ethylene glycol reacted via dehydrogenation to form CO and H2, corresponding to the desired reforming reaction, and via total decomposition to produce C(ad), O(ad), and H2. Ethanol reacted by three reaction pathways, dehydrogenation, decarbonylation, and total decomposition, producing CO, H2, CH4, C(ad), and O(ad). Surfaces prepared by deposition of a monolayer of Ni on Pt(111) at 300 K, designated Ni-Pt-Pt(111), displayed increased reforming activity compared to Pt(111), subsurface monolayer Pt-Ni-Pt(111), and thick Ni/Pt(111). Reforming activity was correlated with the d-band center of the surfaces and displayed a linear trend for both ethylene glycol and ethanol, with activity increasing as the surface d-band center moved closer to the Fermi level. This trend was opposite to that previously observed for hydrogenation reactions, where increased activity occurred on subsurface monolayers as the d-band center shifted away from the Fermi level. Extrapolation of the correlation between activity and the surface d-band center of bimetallic systems may provide useful predictions for the selection and rational design of bimetallic catalysts for the reforming of oxygenates.

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