(207f) Advanced Ni-CeO2/Al2O3 Nanocatalysts for Chemical CO2 Recycling | AIChE

(207f) Advanced Ni-CeO2/Al2O3 Nanocatalysts for Chemical CO2 Recycling


Smith, T. - Presenter, University of Surrey
Le Saché, E., University of Surrey
Stroud, T., University of Surrey
Arellano-Garcia, H., Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg
Ramirez-Reina, T., University of Surrey

Advanced Ni-CeO2 Nanocatalysts for Chemical CO2

Smith, T. Stroud, E. Le Sach
é, H. Arellano-Garcia, T.R. Reina*

of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH,

author: t.ramirezreina@surrey.ac.uk


Carbon dioxide is one of the major issues facing the world
currently, the adverse effects on the environment that CO2 emissions
cause are well documented. Major steps are being taken by industry to mitigate
these effects, with a proportion of the CO2 produced being captured
each year. This scheme to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere is part
of a worldwide initiative, whereby the carbon captured can be stored, but there
is still a lot of progress to make within this field before this is a truly
viable option. There is however, another exciting alternative which is the
chemical upgrading of CO2 to obtain fuels and chemicals [1] [2]. This way, the depletion of CO2 emissions is accompanied by an
extra motivation in terms of the generation of added-value products.

Among the different alternatives for CO2
utilisation, dry reforming of methane is a promising route leading to the
production of syngas (H2 and CO) [3]. This is a highly useful and
valuable intermediary, which can be used in processes like the Fischer-Tropsch
Synthesis to create long chain hydrocarbons, such as diesel [4].

The issue that arises in the dry reforming process, is the
deactivation of the catalysts used in the reaction of the feed chemicals. This
deactivation is due to sintering of the active phase and/or carbon deposition [3] [5].
In order to overcome these problems noble metal based catalysts have been
employed but their cost make them unsuitable for a real application.

The aim of this work is to develop a highly active dry
reforming catalyst based on Ni. Considering the disadvantages of Ni in terms of
deactivation, we have developed multicomponent materials based on monometallic
and bimetallic Ni/CeO2/Al2O3 catalysts with
excellent features for reforming reactions. In this study, all the catalysts
contain 10 %wt. Ni and 20 %wt. CeO2. As for the bimetallic
formulations, Pt and Sn have been selected as promoters with a nominal loading
of 0.3 and 0.8 % wt. respectively.


The catalysts were prepared by wet sequential impregnation
using alumina (Sasol) and the relevant precursors (Sigma Aldrich) employing a
Rotovap, with a session of drying and calcining between each step of the
impregnation. The drying was performed at 80°C and was left overnight, the
calcination was performed at 700°C for 4 h.

The dry reforming of methane was carried out at
atmospheric pressure in a quartz tube reactor. 0.1 g of catalyst was used per
reaction supported upon a reactor bed of quartz wool. The catalyst was reduced
in situ at 800°C for 1 h, in a 100 mL/min flow containing 20% H2 and
80% N2. The reaction was then conducted at 700°C for over 20 h, in a
100 ml/min flow containing 12.5% CH4, 12.5% CO2 and 75% N2
(WHSV = 60,000 mL g-1 h-1). The gas products of the
reaction where analysed using an ABB AO2208 gas analyser. The spent catalysts
were recovered and characterized.

All the fresh catalyst samples have been characterized
fully, by XRD, H2-TPR and N2 adsorption. The spent
samples have also been characterized fully, post reaction, by XRD, Raman and

Results and Discussion

The textural properties of the sample catalysts are shown
below in Table 1. What can be observed from the data is that the
specific surface area as well as the pore volume of the catalyst is reduced by
the addition of ceria. However, the addition of Sn and Pt does not affect the
textural properties of the catalysts. The decrease in the surface area can be
attributed to ceria species covering the surface of Al2O3,
this is corroborated by the decrease in pore volume.

Table 1:
Textural properties of the catalyst samples.


BET (m2 g-1)

Pore Volume (cm3 g-1)













The XRD data shown below in Figure 1 provides
insight into the chemical structure of the prepared catalyst samples. The
absence of any crystalline peak attributed to Ni species indicates a good
metallic dispersion and small particle sizes. However, the presence of NiAl2O4
cannot be fully discarded since the spinel peaks overlap with those of the bare
Al2O3. In addition, the presence of ceria fluorite type
structures is evidenced in the XRD patterns. As for the bimetallic samples, the
XRD depicted for PtNi/CeAl is comparable to that of the Ni/CeAl base catalyst
except for the small PtO peak at 2Ө = 40°, while the SnNi/CeAl catalyst shows
a very similar XRD pattern to Ni/CeAl.

Figure 1:
XRD patterns of the catalysts.



The redox properties of the catalysts are shown in the H2-TPR
profiles displayed in Figure 2. All the profiles present, contain a peak
at high temperatures (650-850°C), this is due to the bulk reduction of the NiAl2O4
spinels, which due to their structure require a high temperature to be reduced.
The later agrees with the XRD data. The three catalysts containing ceria exhibit
a shoulder at 850°C as well as much larger H2 consumption peak than
the base Ni/Al catalyst. This is attributable to the bulk ceria reduction
occurring in the temperature range 700-900°C. Also, a reduction process at 250°C
on the PtNi/CeAl profile was identified and attributed to the reduction of PtO.


Figure 2:
H2-TPR profiles of the catalysts.


Figure 3:
CH4 conversions of the catalysts.


Figure 3 and Figure 4 below show the CH4
and CO2 conversions for all the catalyst after 20+ h on the reaction
stream. It can be seen that the addition of ceria helps to significantly
stabilise the catalyst due to its high oxygen storage capacity (OSC), in
comparison the Ni/Al conversions are observed to drop especially after 10
hours. This is attributed to the formation of hard carbon on the surface of the
catalyst blocking the accessibility of the molecules to the active sites. The effect
the promoters have on the conversions differs, the Sn promoted catalyst has
higher conversions to begin with before stabilising at similar conversions to
the other ceria based catalyst. This has been attributed to the smaller
particle size and higher particle dispersion the Sn promotion causes. By
contrast the addition of Pt as a promoter hardly affects the catalytic
performance of the Ni/Ce/Al sample. The Sn promoted catalyst also had the
highest H2/CO ratio to begin with, of 0.97, before stabilising at a
similar value to the other catalysts of around 0.75.

The characterisation performed post reaction on the spent
catalysts (not shown for sake of briefness) concur with the conversion
hypothesis. Large concentration of hard carbon were deposited on the Ni/Al while
smaller concentrations and softer carbon haven been found on the ceria and
ceria-tin promoted catalysts.


Figure 4:
CO2 conversions of the catalysts.


This work evidences that multicomponent Ni based catalysts
can be efficiently utilised for the chemical CO2 recycling via dry
reforming. High levels of CO2 conversion and good H2/CO
ratios have been achieved in general. The bimetallic Ni-Sn system supported on
CeO2-Al2O3 was the most promising material
among the studied catalysts. The excellent behaviour of this catalyst is due to
its improved redox properties and the Ni-Sn synergy which prevents active phase
sintering and carbon poisoning.

Further studies are currently being undertaken by our
group to discern the effect of the operating conditions as well as the long-term
stability of these advanced materials, in order to explore their potential
application in real CO2 utilisation processes. References



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Charisiou ND, Siakavelas G, Papageridis KN, Baklavaridis A, Tzounis L, Avraam DG, et al. Syngas Production via the Biogas Dry Reforming Reaction Over Nickel Supported on Modified with CeO2 and/or La2O3 Alumina Catalysts. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering. 2016; 31: p. 164-183.




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