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Grafted Nickel-Promoter Catalysts for Dry Reforming of Methane through High-Throughput Experimentation


Ferrandon, Magali; Byron, Carly; Celik, Gokhan; Zhang, Yuying; Ni, Chaoying; Teplyakov, Andrew ; Delferro, Massimiliano


High-throughput synthesis of a series of monometallic and bimetallic catalysts (45 bimetallic and 50 monometallic samples) consisting of nickel and one of nine different metal promoters (B, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Sn, V and Zn) supported on one of six different metal oxides alumina, ceria, magnesia, silica and titania) is carried out via organometallic grafting using a robotic platform. The catalysts are evaluated for their activity and selectivity for the dry reforming of methane at a feed ratio of CH4:CO2 of 1 at 650800 C in a parallel flow reactor system. Thetype of oxide support prevails over the type of additive for both catalyst activity and stability. On Al2O3 and MgO, Fe was found to be the best promoter; on SiO2, Cu is the best promoter at 700 C and higher, while on TiO2,Mn is found to enhance the conversion at 800 C. On CeO2, all additives except Fe have beneficial effects. Twenty-five catalysts show > 90% methane conversion with ten catalysts showing > 95% conversion at 800 C with the H2:CO ratios ranging from 0.8 to 1.2. Amongst the ten highest performers, NiFe/Al2O3 and NiFe/MgO are more active than Ni/Al2O3 and Ni/MgO, respectively and were stable over a period of 25 h at 800 C. Characterizationon the as-prepared samples reveals highly dispersed phase, while after reduction in H2, highly dispersedand reduced nickel particles up to 10 nm are formed. The particles do not increase in size under dry reforming reaction conditions at 800 C. An increased hydrogen consumption observed during H2-TPR of the nickel particles is positively correlated with methane conversion for Al2O3-based catalysts. The resistance to deactivation by coking and variation in coke structure are investigated by spectroscopic and microscopic methods to identify the relationship between metal promoters, alloy formation, and type of surface carbon deposits. Carbon whiskers were observed on the ten selected spent samples and are preferentially deposited on Ni rather than on the promoters. Carbon nanotube formation and metal particle removal from support were not observed to cause deactivation while amorphous carbon formation was clearly linked to catalyst deactivation, as amorphous carbon could encapsulate nickel, either on the support or at the end of the carbon nanotube. The organometallic grafting technique is an efficient and suitable technique for synthesizing highly dispersed and homogeneous phases which lead to high conversion and high durability for dry reforming of methane.