Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

Document Type



A cerium/copper (Ce/Cu) preferred carbon monoxide (CO) oxidation (PROX) catalyst has been synthesized via electrodeposition onto a metal foam monolith. The catalyst was characterized using ICP, TPRS, TPR and SEM/EDS. Preliminary PROX TPRS evidence in a reaction mixture of 1% CO, 0.5% O2, 40% H2 (bal. Ar.) indicated that the highest activity was seen in a sequential deposition, in which Cu was deposited first. The highest CO oxidation activity was obtained when the Ce concentration in the second step was 0.1 M (resulting in a bulk wt% loading of 0.24 Ce:Cu). SEM/EDS analysis indicated that an increase in ceria loading beyond 0.24 caused sheet-like formations of primarily ceria to cover the copper surface, and decreasing the catalyst activity. CO conversion and selectivity were also measured in the absence ("simple" mixture) and presence of 9% CO2 and 1% steam ("complex" mixture), revealing that the catalyst approached equilibrium CO concentrations at temperatures of 130°C and 140°C respectively for simple and complex mixtures. Even though there is still much work to be done to characterize this catalyst and optimize its utility, electrodeposited Ce/Cu catalysts may be a viable reactor design for a PROX unit.



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Committee Chair

James J. Spivey