RSC Adv., 2015,5,37405

CO2 reforming of CH4 over Ni/mesostructured
silica nanoparticles (Ni/MSN)†

The development of supported Ni-based catalysts for CO2 reforming of CH4 was studied. Ni supported on
mesostructured silica nanoparticles (MSN) and MCM-41 were successfully prepared using an in situ
electrochemical method. The N2 physisorption results indicated that the introduction of Ni altered
markedly the surface properties of MCM-41 and MSN. The TEM, H2-TPR and IR adsorbed CO studies
suggested that most of the Ni deposited on the interparticles surface of MSN have higher reducibility
than Ni plugged in the pores of MCM-41. Ni/MSN showed a higher conversion of CH4 at about 92.2%
compared to 82.6% for Ni/MCM-41 at 750 C. After 600 min of the reaction, Ni/MCM-41 started to
deactivate due to the formation of shell-like carbon which may block the active sites and/or surface of
catalyst, as proved by TEM analyses. Contrarily, the activity of Ni/MSN was sustained for 1800 min of the
reaction. The high activity of Ni/MSN was resulted from the presence of greater number of easily
reducible Ni on the surface. In addition, the large number of medium-basic sites in Ni/MSN was capable
to avoid the formation of shell-like carbon that deactivated the catalyst, thus increased the stability
performance. The results presented herein provide new perspectives on Ni-based catalysts, particularly
in the potential of MSN as the support.