In these last years many projects have been developed in
the automotive area in order to reduce pollutant emissions, such as carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, very
dangerous for people and environment.
One of the present research is related to the use of hydrogen as fuel for the vehicles, so that the emission should be only water vapor. This solution involves some problems, such as the hydrogen storage, the necessary infrastructures, and the substitution of vehicle engines.
The automotive industry is evaluating the hypothesis of
hydrogen production, starting from oil derivatives (gasoline, methanol, etc.), directly on board, by equipping the vehicle with a fuel cell.
The gas mixture feeding the fuel cell derives from hydrocarbon reforming, so it contains residual amounts of carbon monoxide, i.e. a poison for the fuel cell electrodes .
The aim of this work is then the development of catalysts, able to almost completely abate the CO concentration in the
hydrogen stream, by means of the preferential CO oxidation.
A progressive research pathway was followed leading from the
development of several catalytic materials to the assessment of their catalytic properties, to the deposition research of the best catalyst on metal support.