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Open Access Characterization of a Spent Ru/C Catalyst after Gasification of Biomass in Supercritical Water

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Carbon-supported ruthenium catalysts promote the gasification of aqueous organic feed with high efficiency to synthetic natural gas in supercritical water. Ruthenium metal was recently identified as the catalytically active species. [1] Occasionally deactivation is observed. To understand the deactivation, the fresh and several spent catalyst samples were investigated by RBS, ERDA, and XPS. The data revealed a massive reduction of the ruthenium concentration in toto and especially of the surface concentration. Of importance is the almost complete disappearance of the spectral features in the valance band region. Coverage of the ruthenium clusters e.g. with a thin 'carbonaceous' layer, i.e. a kind of fouling, or structural modifications of the ruthenium clusters might be the origin. Additionally, leaching of ruthenium might contribute, but is not considered a major effect, because ruthenium was never found in the liquid effluent of the reactor. The influence of additionally detected corrosion products (Ni, Cr, Fe, Ti) from the stainless steel and the titanium alloy walls seems to be small. No evidence for a deactivation by sulphur could be found.

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Keywords: CARBON-SUPPORTED RUTHENIUM CATALYST; HETEROGENEOUS CATALYSIS; SUPERCRITICAL WATER GASIFICATION; SURFACE SENSITIVE ANALYSIS; WET BIOMASS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Paul Scherrer Institut General Energy Research Department OVGA/113 CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland. [email protected] 2: Paul Scherrer Institut General Energy Research Department OVGA/113 CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland; Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany 3: Paul Scherrer Institut General Energy Research Department OVGA/113 CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland; ETH Zürich, Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, Schafmattstrasse 20, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 4: Paul Scherrer Institut General Energy Research Department OVGA/113 CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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