Carbon dioxide reforming (CDR) of methane to synthesis gas over supported nickel catalysts has been reviewed. The present review mainly focuses on the advantage of ceria based nickel catalysts for the CDR of methane. Nickel catalysts supported on ceria-zirconia showed the highest activity for CDR than nickel supported on other oxides such as zirconia, ceria and alumina. The addition of zirconia to ceria enhances the catalytic activity as well as the catalyst stability. The catalytic performance also depends on the crystal structure of Ni-Ce-ZrO2. For example, nickel catalysts co-precipitated with Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 having cubic phase gave synthesis gas with CH4 conversion more than 97% at 800 °C and the activity was maintained for 100 h during the reaction. On the contrary, Ni-Ce-ZrO2 having tetragonal phase (Ce0.8Zr 0.2O2) or mixed oxide phase (Ce0.5Zr 0.5O2) deactivated during the reaction due to carbon formation. The enhanced catalytic performance of co-precipitated catalyst is attributed to a combination effect of nano-crystalline nature of cubic Ce 0.8Zr0.2O2 support and the finely dispersed nano size NiO x crystallites, resulting in the intimate contact between Ni and Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 particles. The Ni/Ce-ZrO2/θ-Al2O3 also exhibited high catalytic activity during CDR with a synthesis gas conversion more than 97% at 800°C without significant deactivation for more than 40 h. The high stability of the catalyst is mainly ascribed to the beneficial pre-coating of Ce-ZrO2 resulting in the existence of stable NiO x species, a strong interaction between Ni and the support, and an abundance of mobile oxygen species in itself. TPR results further confirmed that NiO x formation was more favorable than NiO or NiAl2O 4 formation and further results suggested the existence of strong metal-support interaction (SMSI) between Ni and the support. Some of the important factors to optimize the CDR of methane such as reaction temperature, space velocity, feed CO2/CH4 ratio and H2O and/or O2 addition were also examined.
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