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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

An Alumina-Supported Ni-La-Based Catalyst for Producing Synthetic Natural Gas

MERLIN Group, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Particles and Catalysis Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rajendra S. Ghadwal
Catalysts 2016, 6(11), 170;
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Molecule Activation and Catalysis)
PDF [3492 KB, uploaded 31 October 2016]


LaNi5, known for its hydrogen storage capability, was adapted to the form of a metal oxide-supported (γ-Al2O3) catalyst and its performance for the Sabatier reaction assessed. The 20 wt % La-Ni/γ-Al2O3 particles were prepared via solution combustion synthesis (SCS) and exhibited good catalytic activity, achieving a CO2 conversion of 75% with a high CH4 selectivity (98%) at 1 atm and 300 °C. Characteristics of the La-Ni/γ-Al2O3 catalyst were identified at various stages of the catalytic process (as-prepared, activated, and post-reaction) and in-situ DRIFTS was used to probe the reaction mechanism. The as-prepared catalyst contained amorphous surface La–Ni spinels with particle sizes <6 nm. The reduction process altered the catalyst make-up where, despite the reducing conditions, Ni2+-based particles with diameters between 4 and 20 nm decorated with LaOx moieties were produced. However, the post-reaction catalyst had particle sizes of 4–9 nm and comprised metallic Ni, with the LaOx decoration reverting to a form akin to the as-prepared catalyst. DRIFTS analysis indicated that formates and adsorbed CO species were present on the catalyst surface during the reaction, implying the reaction proceeded via a H2-assisted and sequential CO2 dissociation to C and O. These were then rapidly hydrogenated into CH4 and H2O. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sabatier reaction; lanthanum nickel; catalysis Sabatier reaction; lanthanum nickel; catalysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rivero-Mendoza, D.E.; Stanley, J.N.G.; Scott, J.; Aguey-Zinsou, K.-F. An Alumina-Supported Ni-La-Based Catalyst for Producing Synthetic Natural Gas. Catalysts 2016, 6, 170.

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