Formic Acid Decomposition Using Palladium-Zinc Preformed Colloidal Nanoparticles Supported on Carbon Nanofibre in Batch and Continuous Flow Reactors: Experimental and Computational Fluid Dynamics Modelling Studies

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2023 Nov 22;13(23):2993. doi: 10.3390/nano13232993.


The need to replace conventional fuels with renewable sources is a great challenge for the science community. H2 is a promising alternative due to its high energy density and availability. H2 generation from formic acid (FA) decomposition occurred in a batch and a packed-bed flow reactor, in mild conditions, using a 2% Pd6Zn4/HHT (high heated treated) catalyst synthesised via the sol-immobilisation method. Experimental and theoretical studies took place, and the results showed that in the batch system, the conversion was enhanced with increasing reaction temperature, while in the continuous flow system, the conversion was found to decrease due to the deactivation of the catalyst resulting from the generation of the poisoning CO. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies were developed to predict the conversion profiles, which demonstrated great validation with the experimental results. The model can accurately predict the decomposition of FA as well as the deactivation that occurs in the continuous flow system. Of significance was the performance of the packed-bed flow reactor, which showed improved FA conversion in comparison to the batch reactor, potentially leading to the utilisation of continuous flow systems for future fuel cell applications for on-site H2 production.

Keywords: CFD; batch; formic acid; hydrogen; packed-bed flow reactor.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.