Surface Carbon as a Reactive Intermediate in Dry Reforming of Methane to Syngas on a 5% Ni/MnO Catalyst

Albert Gili*, Lukas Schlicker, Maged F. Bekheet, Oliver Görke, Simon Penner, Matthias Grünbacher, Thomas Götsch, Patrick Littlewood, Tobin J. Marks, Peter C. Stair, Reinhard Schomäcker, Andrew Doran, Sören Selve, Ulla Simon, Aleksander Gurlo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


A 5% Ni/MnO catalyst has been tested for the dry reforming of methane at different temperatures and reactant partial pressures. Changing the reactant ratio with time on stream results in a decrease in the deactivation rate of the catalyst. Graphitic carbon growth and metal particle sintering have been observed by applying in situ transmission XRD using synchrotron radiation under actual reaction conditions. Both methane and carbon monoxide separately result in graphitic surface carbon, which can then be oxidized by carbon dioxide. The morphology of the surface carbon has been analyzed by TEM, and the reactions of both methane and carbon monoxide result in the same graphitic multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The present combination of catalytic experiments and in situ techniques suggests that surface carbon acts as an intermediate in the formation of CO and that catalyst deactivation happens via metallic particle sintering. These results enable a more rational choice of reaction conditions to ensure high catalyst activity and long-term stability. Future catalyst advances must aim to prevent metal particle sintering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8739-8750
Number of pages12
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 7 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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