Facile immobilization of Ni nanoparticles into mesoporous MCM-41 channels for efficient methane dry reforming

Jingqing Tian, Haocheng Li, Xin Zeng, Zichun Wang, Jun Huang*, Chen Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Development of dry reforming of methane and carbon dioxide is an effective route to convert in-dustrial waste gases such as coke-oven gas and coal-to-oil gas into platform syngas. However, this process encounters severe problems of metal particle sintering and coke formation at high tem-peratures. In this work, we developed a new synthetic method for preparing confined Ni/MCM-41 catalysts, which impede the sintering of metal nanoparticles (NPs) and coke deposition at high temperatures, enabling them to be successfully applied to methane dry reforming. The method results in high activity and stability of the catalyst at 700 °C for 200 h. The Ni precursor is immersed in ethanol and impregnated into MCM-41 by the peculiar capillary action of hexagonal straight mesopores. By this method, 10 wt% Ni NPs (d = 2 nm) is equably confined to the mesoporous channels with strong metal-support interactions, as confirmed by HRTEM, TEM mapping, H2-TPR, and XRD measurements. Such a confined structure has a significant effect on the inhibition of metal NP agglomeration and carbon deposition during methane dry reforming, as evidenced by TEM, Raman, TGA, and TPO measurements of used Ni/MCM-41 catalysts. In contrast, unconfined Ni/MCM-41 catalysts, with Ni NPs located on the pore exteriors, are rapidly deactivated after 12 h due to the blocked contact between the active metal centers and the gas feedstock. Additionally, a fast increase in the Ni NP size and the formation of substantial carbon nanotubes on the unconfined catalyst surface are seen. This work offers a facile approach for the synthesis of anti-sintering, car-bon-resistant confined Ni catalysts that can operate at high temperatures

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1404
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Journal of Catalysis
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Dry reforming
  • Confined structure
  • Carbon dioxide utilization
  • Inhibition of carbon deposition
  • High temperature stable catalyst


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