Iranian researchers designed and produced a nanocatalyst with long lifetime whose main application is reforming methane and conversion of greenhouse gases to synthesis gas.
The use of this product decreases the production of bi-products during the reaction, and as a result, it decreases the costs and increases the economic efficiency.
The coke produced during the dry reforming of methane is known as a hazardous bi-product. Coke is the main reason for the decrease in the lifetime of the catalysts used in this process. The other reason for the deactivation of the catalysts is the accumulation of very tiny particles on the catalyst at high temperature of the reaction. However, the problems can be overcome by an appropriate design in the production of catalysts.
The main objective of the research was to convert methane and carbon dioxide greenhouses to syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) in the dry reforming of methane. This objective was followed by producing an active and stable nanocatalyst from effective materials through an efficient and economic method.
The produced nanocatalyst is a combination of different materials, including nickel on ZSM-5 zeolite and zirconia, which has been produced through sonochemical methods in the presence of ultrasonic waves.
Based on the results, the catalyst with optimum composition has a performance better than other samples at all temperatures, to the extent that the yield of methane and carbon dioxide conversion was very high and very close to the desirable amount at 850°C. Another achievement of the research was to decrease the effects of side reactions in the process and to reduce the amount of coke deposited on the catalyst surface, which directly results in an increase in the activity and life of the catalyst.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Power Sources, vol. 272, issue 1, 2014, pp. 816-827.