A facile and scalable spray pyrolysis process is applied to synthesize multi-shelled Ni-loaded yolk-shell catalysts on various supports (Al2O3, CeO2, ZrO2, and La(OH)3). The prepared catalysts are applied to direct internal reforming (DIR) in a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). Even on exposure to alkali hydroxide vapors, the Ni-loaded yolk-shell catalysts remain highly active for DIR-MCFCs. The Ni@Al2O3 microspheres show the highest conversion (92%) of CH4 and the best stability among the prepared Ni-loaded yolk-shell catalysts. Although the initial CH4 conversion of the Ni@ZrO2 microspheres is higher than that of the Ni@CeO2 microspheres, the Ni@CeO2 microspheres are more stable. The catalytic performance is strongly dependent on the surface area and acidity and also partly dependent on the reducibility. The acidic nature of Al2O3 combined with its high surface area and yolk-shell structure enhances the adsorption of CH4 and resistance against alkali poisoning, resulting in efficient DIR-MCFC reactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering