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Progress on a longer-lasting catalyst for coke-free CO2 reduction

By Gerald Ondrey |

One of the main problems in the conversion of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into liquid fuel or hydrogen is the development of coke- and sintering-resistant catalysts. Nickel on magnesium oxide (Ni/MgO) has long been identified as a suitable catalyst, but rapid coke formation and sintering have prevented its use at an industrial scale. Now a group of researchers claims to have overcome those problems. The group, led by professor Cafer T. Yavuz of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Daejeon, South Korea; www.kaist.ac.kr), includes people from Gebze Technical University (Gebze, Turkey), Saudi Aramco (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia), and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (Pohang, South Korea). The researchers reported a molybdenum-doped nickel nanocatalyst that is stabilized at the edges of a single-crystalline MgO support. As the ingredients were heated under reactive gas, the nanoparticles moved on the crystal surface seeking anchoring points. The resulting activated catalyst sealed its own high-energy sites and permanently fixed the location of the nanoparticles. Thus, the nickel-based catalyst would not have carbon buildup, nor would the surface particles bind to one another. According to the group,…
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