Methane Cracking over a Bituminous Coal Char

Z.Q. Sun, J. Wu, M. Haghighi, Dongke Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Methane cracking over a bed of Chinese bituminous coal char was studied using a fixed-bed reactor at atmospheric pressure and temperatures between 1073 and 1223 K. Methane conversion over the fresh char increased with increasing temperature to 90% at 1223 K. Hydrogen was the only gas-phase product that was detected during the experimentation. The char was shown to exert a significant catalytic effect on methane cracking by comparing results from experiments with the raw char and demineralised char as well as from blank experiments using quartz. It was further shown that the ash was not the source of the catalytic effect of the char. However, both methane conversion and hydrogen yield decreased with increasing reaction time, irrespective of other experimental conditions, indicating that the char rapidly became deactivated following the exposure to methane. It was speculated that the deposition of carbon from methane cracking was responsible for this deactivation, which is supported by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image analysis. It was demonstrated that the catalytic activity of the deactivated char can be partially recovered by burning off the carbon deposits with an oxidizing gas mixture containing 0.46% oxygen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1605
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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