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Catalyst-based high-yield hydrogen production from biosourced alcohol



Statut des brevets

French priority patent application FR1350218 filed on January 10th, 2013 and entitled « Procédé de production d’hydrogène »


Sébastien PAUL
Wenhao FANG

Statut commercial

Exclusive or non exclusive license


Unité de Catalyse et Chimie du Solide (UCCS, UMR8181), Lille, France



Hydrogen has been forecasted as one of the highest energy vector in the near future. However, one cannot get hydrogen naturally. It has to be synthesized from a primary source and then transported, stored and distributed toward the final users. As of right now, Hydrogen is essentially made from natural gas and hydrocarbons by steam reforming. Apart of using fossil resources, this reaction have other disadvantages such as high temperature operation.
There is therefore a demand for a renewable way to supply Hydrogen. As a consequence, biosourced alcohol such as Ethanol has been one of the few sources investigated for Hydrogen synthesis.
Investigation has therefore been made toward the use of catalyst for the following reactions:

C2H5OH  +  3 H2O –> 6 H2  +  2 CO2
C2H5OH  +  1,5 O2 –> 3 H2  +  2 CO2

So far, there is clearly a demand for inexpensive catalyst usable at low temperature for the high-yield synthesis of Hydrogen from alcohol and that avoids the formation of carbon and by-products such as acetaldehyde or methane.


In the present work, the inventors have answered the demand by developing a high-yield Hydrogen synthesis process from alcohol (in presence of water) requiring low energy input with an inexpensive catalyst and that has a limited formation of carbon.
The catalyst used for the reaction is based on a cerium and nickel oxyhydride.


So far, the catalyst synthesis has been assessed on a large laboratory scale and the synthesis of Hydrogen has been successfully assessed with said catalyst:
0,03 g catalyst with C2H5OH / H2O / O2 – Oven temperature 50°C –> H2 (40% molar), CO2 (40%) and CO (18%) with insignificant traces of CH4 and CH3CHO.


  • Biosourced availability of raw material
  • Low temperature
  • No carbon formation
  • High Hydrogen yield


The present invention aims at providing an alternate way of producing hydrogen for any applications. Among the most promising applications, one can cite fuel cell.

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  • Ce champ n’est utilisé qu’à des fins de validation et devrait rester inchangé.

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