Finely grained Ni/ZrO2 catalysts were prepared from amorphous Ni-Zr alloy precursors by oxidation and subsequent reduction pretreatment, and the catalytic activity for CO2 methanation was examined as a function of precursor alloy composition and temperature. The catalysts thus prepared produce exclusively methane, apart from water as a by-product. The conversion of CO2 increases with temperature in the range of 373-573 K. Among the catalysts examined, the maximum methanation rate is obtained on the catalysts prepared from the amorphous alloy precursors containing 40 and 50 at% zirconium. Further, the methanation rates of all the catalysts prepared from the amorphous alloy precursors are higher than that of a 3 at% Ni/ZrO2 catalyst prepared by wet impregnation. The number of surface nickel atoms, determined by hydrogen chemisorption, increases with zirconium content in the catalysts, while, interestingly, the turnover number decreases with increasing zirconium content. In the catalysts prepared from the amorphous alloys, two types of zirconia are present: metastable tetragonal and stable monoclinic zirconia. The former zirconia phase is present predominantly in the catalyst prepared from the Ni-30 at% Zr alloy, but the relative amount of this oxide phase, with respect to the total amounts of zirconia, gradually decreases with an increase in zirconium content of alloys. Thus, the higher turnover number of the catalysts with higher nickel content can be attributed to nickel supported on metastable tetragonal zirconia. Increasing nickel content of the precursor alloys leads to an increase in tetragonal zirconia and to a decrease in the number of surface nickel atoms on the catalysts. This is responsible for the fact that the maximum conversion appears at medium contents of zirconium in the precursor alloys.
- Amorphous alloy precursor
- Carbon dioxide
- Tetragonal zirconia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Process Chemistry and Technology