Non-precious molybdenum-based catalyst derived from biomass: CO-free hydrogen production from formic acid at low temperature

Junli Wang, Xiumin Li, Junlan Zheng, Ji Cao, Xiaogang Hao, Zhongde Wang, Abuliti Abudula, Guoqing Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


CO-free hydrogen was successfully produced from the dehydrogenation of formic acid at a temperature near its boiling point of 110 °C by using a high-performance non-precious metal molybdenum based catalyst synthesized from soybean and earth-abundant molybdenum. The effect of carbonization temperature, raw material ratio on the catalytic activity for formic acid decomposition were investigated in details. The catalyst Soy-Mo (0.1) prepared at a carbonization temperature of 750 °C, the weight ratio of the soybean powder to Mo precursor of 1:0.1 showed the best catalytic activity among those as-synthesized catalysts. Even at a temperature as low as 110 °C, HCOOH conversion reached above 80% with a 100% H2 selectivity and a long-term stability. It indicated that the catalysts derived from those biomass enriched in protein and alkaline metals have excellent performance for catalytic formic acid decomposition. This approach provided a new path for design and development of catalysts with high performance for CO-free hydrogen generation from formic acid in a large-scale industrial process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass derived catalyst
  • CO-free
  • Formic acid
  • Hydrogen production
  • Molybdenum carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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