(269d) Improving Long-Term Stability of Reforming Catalysts and Electro-Catalysts: From First Principles Studies to Novel Alloy Catalysts

Nikolla, E. - Presenter, University of Michigan
Schwank, J. - Presenter, University of Michigan
Linic, S. - Presenter, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Steam reforming is a process that converts hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen and oxygenated carbon species. This process is important for catalytic hydrogen production and for direct electrochemical reforming of hydrocarbons over high temperature fuel cells, such as Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs). One of the main problems associated with the process is that conventional reforming electro-catalysts, such as Ni supported on oxides, deactivate due to carbon poisoning.

We have utilized Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations to study carbon chemistry on Ni and Ni-containing alloys. The DFT calculations showed that a number of Ni surface alloys had lower tendencies towards carbon poisoning compared to monometallic Ni. The identified alloy catalysts were tested in steam reforming of methane, propane, isooctane, and other hydrocarbon fuels. These catalysts were also tested as anodes in SOFCs. The alloy (electro)catalysts showed significantly improved performance compared to monometallic Ni.[1-4]

We will also discuss the underlying physical characteristics of the alloys associate with their improved carbon tolerance. In this discussion we will focus on the analysis of the electronic structure of the alloys.[5]

1. Nikolla, E., A. Holewinski, J. Schwank, and S. Linic, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128 (2006) 11354-11355.

2. Nikolla, E., J. Schwank, and S. Linic, Catal. Today, 136 (2008) 243-248.

3. Nikolla, E., J. Schwank, and S. Linic, J. Catal. 263 (2009) 220-227.

4. Nikolla, E., J. Schwank, and S. Linic, J. Catal, 2007. 250 85-93.

5. Nikolla, E., J. Schwank, and S. Linic, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131 (2009) 2747-2754.