Researchers at University of Tehran in cooperation with colleagues from Engineering Research Institute of Agricultural Jihad introduced an optimum method to the industrialists for the synthesis of nanoparticles used in hydrogen production catalysts.
Copper oxide-zirconium dioxide nanoparticles are two main constituents of the catalysts used in hydrogen production by steam reforming reactions.
"Nanoparticles' synthesis by two methods of sol-gel and microemulsion results in finer particles with narrower distribution and more surface area,” Yasser Vahidshad, one the researchers, said in an interview with INIC news service.
“Since the synthesis of nanoparticles is mostly done by hydrothermal method in Iran, particles distribution is wider than the results of this study”, he added.
Noting that zirconium alkoxide and copper nitrate were used as precursors, Vahidshad reiterated, "We first examined the parameters influencing the mentioned nanoparticles synthesis such as solution pH, molar ratio of water to alkoxide, solution quantity, ageing temperature and calcination temperature and achieved optimum conditions for the desired nanoparticles synthesis. We finally applied microemulsion method for making comparisons."
"The comparative results showed that the produced nanoparticles size in microemulsion method is less than those produced by sol-gel method. The size distribution is also narrower in microemulsion method. Therefore, microemulsion provides better conditions than sol-gel one for the application of these nanoparticles as catalyst," he concluded.
The details of this study are available at Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, volume 53, pages 263-271, 2010.