Cleaning Up CO

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Science  03 Jun 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5727, pp. 1381
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5727.1381a

For use in fuel cells, hydrogen (H2) can be produced by reacting alcohols or hydrocarbons with steam or oxygen, yielding byproducts that include CO and CO2. Although CO can be removed or converted through the water-gas-shift reaction to CO2 and additional H2, even small amounts of residual CO inhibit reactions at the Pt anode of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Onboard H2 production would likely need to remove CO in the presence of its oxidation product, CO2, and to do so without oxidizing the H2 to water. Landon et al. report the selective oxidation of CO to CO2 in the presence of H2, water vapor, and CO2 at 80C, which is below the operating temperature of PEFCs, with a single-stage reactor. They report that a gold catalyst on an Fe2O3 support, prepared in a two-step heating process up to 550C, created a catalyst with high CO oxidation activity but no H2 oxidation activity under typical PEFC conditions. — PDS

Chem. Commun. 10.1039/b505295p (2005).

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