A 5% Ni/MnO catalyst has been tested for the dry reforming of methane at different temperatures and reactant partial pressures. Changing the reactant ratio with time on stream results in a decrease in the deactivation rate of the catalyst. Graphitic carbon growth and metal particle sintering have been observed by applying in situ transmission XRD using synchrotron radiation under actual reaction conditions. Both methane and carbon monoxide separately result in graphitic surface carbon, which can then be oxidized by carbon dioxide. The morphology of the surface carbon has been analyzed by TEM, and the reactions of both methane and carbon monoxide result in the same graphitic multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The present combination of catalytic experiments and in situ techniques suggests that surface carbon acts as an intermediate in the formation of CO and that catalyst deactivation happens via metallic particle sintering. These results enable a more rational choice of reaction conditions to ensure high catalyst activity and long-term stability. Future catalyst advances must aim to prevent metal particle sintering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas