The development of stable Ni-based dry reforming of methane (DRM) catalysts is a key challenge owing to the high operating temperatures of the process and the propensity of Ni for promoting carbon deposition. In this work, Al2O3-coated Ni/SiO2 catalysts have been developed by employing atomic layer deposition (ALD). The structure of the catalyst at each individual preparation step was characterized in detail through a combination of in situ XAS-XRD, ex situ 27Al NMR and Raman spectroscopy. Specifically, in the calcination step, the ALD-grown Al2O3 layer reacts with the SiO2 support and Ni, forming aluminosilicate and NiAl2O4. The Al2O3-coated Ni/SiO2 catalyst exhibits an improved stability for DRM when compared to the benchmark Ni/SiO2 and Ni/Al2O3 catalysts. In situ XAS-XRD during DRM together with ex situ Raman spectroscopy and TEM of the spent catalysts confirm that the ALD-grown Al2O3 layer suppresses the sintering of Ni, in turn reducing also coke formation significantly. In addition, the formation of an amorphous aluminosilicate phase by the reaction of the ALD-grown Al2O3 layer with the SiO2 support inhibited catalysts deactivation via NiAl2O4 formation, in contrast to the reference Ni/Al2O3 system. The in-depth structural characterization of the catalysts provided an insight into the structural dynamics of the ALD-grown Al2O3 layer, which reacts both with the support and the active metal, allowing to rationalize the high stability of the catalyst under the harsh DRM conditions.
Structural insight into an atomic layer deposition (ALD) grown Al2O3 layer on Ni/SiO2: impact on catalytic activity and stability in dry reforming of methane
28 June 2021, Version 1
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