Fabrication of a Ni/MgO Nanocomposite Catalyst by Exolution

Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Hall 2 (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
Y. S. Lim, J. S. Yoon (Inha University), B. H. Choi, W. S. Seo (Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology), and H. J. Hwang (Inha University)
 Methane steam reforming reaction is the most important chemical process to produce hydrogen or synthesis gas. Hydrogen is heavily consumed for ammonia production, the cryogenics industry and methanol production. Recently, the hydrogen demand is expected to increase as fuel cells become more widely accepted and are used more in the near future. For effective production of hydrogen or synthesis gas, the role of the reforming catalyst becomes more significant. Especially, highly active and stable catalyst is necessary for an on-site reformer for fuel cell systems.
 In conventional technology, the methane steam reforming reaction is conducted on supported noble metals- (Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru, and Ir) or nickel-based catalysts at temperature up to 700~800°C and steam to methane rations between 2 and 4. However, these catalysts suffer from the deactivation by agglomeration and carbon deposition. Noble metal-based catalysts are less sensitive to carbon deposition than nickel-based catalyst. However, high cost and limited availability are major concern.
 In this study, nickel-based nanocomposite catalysts were fabricated by exolution process. The exsolution means the process to precipitate particles from solid solution by means of the heat treatment in a specially-controlled atmosphere. This process is distinguished from the infiltration in which particles are precipitated from solutions by evaporation. First, Mg1-xNixO solid solution powders were synthesized from aqueous magnesium and nickel nitrate solution by precipitation technique and then the powder was heat-treated in reducing atmosphere at 600 to 900°C. SEM and TEM images revealed that the nano-sized nickel particles were homogeneously dispersed in the Mg1-xNixO solid solution matrix and the size and morphology of nano nickel particles can be controlled by the heat-treatment condition. Catalytic activity for the methane steam reforming or methane particle oxidation reaction and durability of the Ni/Mg1-xNixO was investigated in terms of nickel contents and sizes.