Hydrogen production with a solar steam–methanol reformer and colloid nanocatalyst

Ming-Tsang Lee, Michael Werhahn, David J. Hwang, Nico Hotz, Ralph Greif, Dimos Poulikakos, Costas P. Grigoropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In the present study a small steam-methanol reformer with a colloid nanocatalyst is utilized to produce hydrogen. Radiation from a focused continuous green light laser (514 nm wavelength) is used to provide the energy for steam-methanol reforming. Nanocatalyst particles, fabricated by using pulsed laser ablation technology, result in a highly active catalyst with high surface to volume ratio. A small novel reformer fabricated with a borosilicate capillary is employed to increase the local temperature of the reformer and thereby increase hydrogen production. The hydrogen production output efficiency is determined and a value of 5% is achieved. Experiments using concentrated solar simulator light as the radiation source are also carried out. The results show that hydrogen production by solar steam-methanol colloid nanocatalyst reforming is both feasible and promising. © 2009 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Samuel S. Mao of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for helpful discussions. We are indebted to Dr. Xiaobo Chen of LBNL for providing technical assistance for the hydrogen and carbon monoxide measurements. We also acknowledge the Microfabrication Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley for providing technical support for the SEM measurements. The CuO/ZnO/Al2O3 Catalyst was generously provided by BASF, Inc. This work was partially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of California at Berkeley Collaborative Research Program.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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