Following a new development, a new nanocatalyst developed that recycles major greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into useful hydrogen gas. In fact, this catalyst is expected to serve the development of various waste-to-energy conversion technologies. This is because the catalyst has more than double the efficiency for conversion of methane to hydrogen, as compared to conventional electrode catalysts.
The finding is the result of an initiative of a team of researchers to enhance the performance and stability of catalysts that are used in the dry reforming of methane. In this reaction, the catalyst enhances the reaction to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide from greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
Drawbacks of conventional catalyst led to development of nanocatalyst
Meanwhile, nickel-based metal complexes are conventional catalysts for the dry reforming of methane. However, over time, the performance of the catalyst degrades, and so does its lifetime. This is because carbon accrues on the surface of the catalysts, as the catalysts clump together or reaction of the catalyst is repeated at a higher temperature.
“In the apparatus for nickel-based catalysts, the uniform and quantitatively controlled layer of iron via atomic layer deposition (ALD) facilitates topotactic exsolution, thereby increasing the finely dispersed nanoparticles,” said the first author of the study.
In fact, exsolution is promoted even with a very small amount of atomic layer deposition deposited iron oxide. Notably, 20 cycles of Fe oxide deposition using ALD, the particle population crosses over 400, confirmed the team. And, because the particles are composed of Fe and Ni, they exhibit high catalytic activity.
Contrastingly, the new catalyst displayed high catalytic activity for dry reforming of methane with no degradation observed in performance even after more than 410 hours of continuous operation.