Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Zhenmeng Peng

First Reader

Dr. Lingyun Liu

Second Reader

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby

Abstract

The selective, catalytic decomposition of hydrazine has been investigated using a 1 wt% Pt-Ni(OH)2 catalyst system quantitatively studied by changing the following parameters; reaction solution alkalinity, temperature, hydrazine concentration, catalyst selectivity, catalyst stability, and catalyst durability. Using sodium hydroxide (NaOH), the best alkalinity was found to be 1 M NaOH. The optimal temperature was found to be 50 °C for complete hydrazine conversion. A hydrazine concentration of 0.1 M produced the most effective reaction. The catalyst was found to be completely selective in hydrogen and nitrogen production with no ammonia formation. The catalyst activity decreased by 15% after 8 days of sitting in air representing relatively poor stability, most likely due to undesired oxidation of the catalyst. Finally, the catalyst activity decreased by about 50% after subsequent, same catalyst reactions showing poor durability, resulting from a reduced number of active reaction sites. Overall, the low noble metal catalyst designed does perform the hydrazine decomposition efficiently with 100% selectivity in hydrogen and nitrogen production but needs an elevated temperature and shows signs of poor stability and durability. The cost effective catalyst could provide basis for future research to create a more stable and durable catalyst that can operate at ambient conditions.

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