Quantification of surface species present on a nickel/alumina methane reforming catalyst

Christian Laycock, Ian P. Silverwood, Neil G. Hamilton, John Z. Staniforth, R. Mark Ormerod, Christopher D. Frost, Stewart F. Parker, David Lennon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An alumina-supported nickel catalyst has been used to effect the ‘dry’ reforming of methane, using CO2 as the oxidant. After 6 hours on-stream, reaction was stopped and the sample analysed by inelastic neutron scattering (INS). The INSspectrum reveals the presence of hydrocarbonaceous species as well as hydroxyl species present at the catalyst surface. Through the use of appropriate reference compounds, calibration procedures have been developed to determine the concentration of the retained hydrocarbon and hydroxyl moieties. Ancillary temperature programmed oxidation experiments establish the total carbon content. This approach not only enables the extent of overall carbon laydown to be determined but it also identifies the degree to which hydrogen is associated with carbon and oxygen atoms. The methodology described is generic and should be applicable to a wide number of heterogeneously catalysed systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3102 - 3107
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2010


  • nickel/alumina
  • reforming catalyst
  • surface species


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