Production of CO-free H2 from formic acid. A comparative study of the catalytic behavior of Pt metals on a carbon support

F. Solymosi, Á Koós, N. Liliom, I. Ugrai

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The vapor-phase decomposition of formic acid was investigated over Pt metals supported on inert carbon Norit with the aim of producing CO-free H 2. FTIR spectroscopic studies revealed that formic acid dissociated on Pt metals at 220-240 K, but the formate species formed was stable only below 300-350 K. Decomposition of formic acid started at and above 350 K on all catalysts and was complete at 473-523 K. Kinetic studies on Pt/Norit demonstrated that the decomposition was a zero-order process with an activation energy of 70.7 kJ/mol. Although dehydrogenation was the predominant process at lower temperatures, CO-free H2 was not produced on any catalyst. The highest selectivity of 98.3-99% for H2 formation was attained on Ir/Norit. For all catalysts, the selectivity was improved considerably by the addition of water to formic acid. The production of CO-free H2 was achieved only on supported Ir at 383-473 K. Similarly, as regards the H 2 yield the outstanding catalyst was Ir/Norit, followed by Pt/Norit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011



  • Carbon support
  • Formic acid decomposition
  • Production of CO-free H
  • Pt metals
  • Reforming of formic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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