In this study, mesoporous Cu–Fe/silicate catalysts were obtained from a simultaneously mixing the NaOH and metal-ion solution to sodium silicate solution and a hydrothermal treatment under alkaline condition without using any organic template. During hydrothermally reaction, the amorphous metal-silicate would reconstruct and formation of the mesostructured Cu–Fe/silicate. At appropriate pH values, the silicate species can strongly bind with the Cu2+ ions to form the stable Cu–Fe/silicate, and the [Cu2+] in the final filtrated solution is lower than the effluent standard in Taiwan (1.0 ppm). To find the appropriate synthetic parameters, the effects of the pH value, metal to silicate ratio, and the hydrothermal treatment time on the surface areas and mesostructure of the resulted Cu–Fe/silicates were discussed in detail. In practice, the mesoporous Cu–Fe/silicate catalyst with high surface area of 547 m2g-1 demonstrated a high methanol conversion within 1 h up to >99% at 180 °C to be used as high-performance catalysts for steam reformer of methanol.
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