Nickel catalysts for internal reforming in molten carbonate fuel cells


Berger, R.J. and Doesburg, E.B.M. and Ommen, J.G. van and Ross, J.R.H. (1996) Nickel catalysts for internal reforming in molten carbonate fuel cells. Applied Catalysis A: General, 143 (2). pp. 343-365. ISSN 0926-860X

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Abstract:Natural gas may be used instead of hydrogen as fuel for the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) by steam reforming the natural gas inside the MCFC, using a nickel catalyst (internal reforming). The severe conditions inside the MCFC, however, require that the catalyst has a very high stability. In order to find suitable types of nickel catalysts and to obtain more knowledge about the deactivation mechanism(s) occurring during internal reforming, a series of nickel catalysts was prepared and subjected to stability tests at 973 K in an atmosphere containing steam and lithium and potassium hydroxide vapours. All the catalysts prepared showed a significant growth of the nickel crystallites during the test, especially one based on ¿-Al2O3 and a coprecipitated Ni/Al2O3 sample having a very high nickel content. However, this growth of nickel crystallites only partially explained the very strong deactivation observed in most cases. Only a coprecipitated nickel/alumina catalyst with high alumina content and a deposition-precipitation catalyst showed satisfactory residual activities. Addition of magnesium or lanthanum oxide to a coprecipitated nickel/alumina catalyst decreased the stability.

Adsorption and retention of the alkali was the most important factor determining the stability of a catalyst in an atmosphere containing alkali hydroxides. This is because the catalyst bed may remain active if a small part of the catalyst bed retains all the alkali.
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Copyright:© 1996 Elsevier Science
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Metis ID: 105526