The authors reveal the dominant chemical reactions and the optimum conditions, supposing the design of ethanol steam-reforming reactors. Specifically, experiments are conducted for Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst, together with those for Ru/Al2O3 catalyst for reference. Using a household-use-scale reactor with well-controlled temperature distributions, the authors compare experimental results with chemical-equilibrium theories. As a result, the Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst shows rather high performance at low values of reaction temperature T. This suggests that the Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst promotes the ethanol-steam-reforming and water-gas-shift reactions, but does not promote the methanation reaction. Furthermore, the authors have researched the influence of liquid-hourly space velocity LHSV upon the ethanol conversion XC2H5OH in the range of LHSV from 0.05 to 1.40h−1, S/C = 3.0 and T = 420K, 470K and 520K, and the influence of LHSV upon concentrations such as CH2, CCO2, CCO and CCH4 in the range of LHSV from 0.05 to 1.20h−1, at S/C = 3.0 and T = 470K. In addition, the authors have proposed a new and simple method to recover the catalyst performance.

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