Enhanced catalytic activity and stability of nanoshaped Ni/CeO2 for CO2 methanation in micro-monoliths

Nuria García-Moncada, Juan Carlos Navarro, José Antonio Odriozola, Leon Lefferts, Jimmy A. Faria*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
184 Downloads (Pure)


Coupling inherently fluctuating renewable feedstocks to highly exothermic catalytic processes, such as CO2 methanation, is a major challenge as large thermal swings occurring during ON- and OFF- cycles can irreversible deactivate the catalyst via metal sintering and pore collapsing. Here, we report a highly stable and active Ni catalyst supported on CeO2 nanorods that can outperform the commercial CeO2 (octahedral) counterpart during CO2 methanation at variable reaction conditions in both powdered and μ-monolith configurations. The long-term stability tests were carried out in the kinetic regime, at the temperature of maximal rate (300 °C) using fluctuating gas hourly space velocities that varied between 6 and 30 L h−1·gcat−1. Detailed catalyst characterization by μ-XRF revealed that similar Ni loadings were achieved on nanorods and octahedral CeO2 (c.a. 2.7 and 3.3 wt. %, respectively). Notably, XRD, SEM, and HR-TEM-EDX analysis indicated that on CeO2 nanorods smaller Ni-Clusters with a narrow particle size distribution were obtained (∼ 7 ± 4 nm) when compared to octahedral CeO2 (∼ 16 ± 13 nm). The fast deactivation observed on Ni loaded on commercial CeO2 (octahedral) was prevented by structuring the reactor bed on μ-monoliths and supporting the Ni catalyst on CeO2 nanorods. FeCrAlloy® sheets were used to manufacture a multichannel μ-monolith of 2 cm in length and 1.58 cm in diameter, with a cell density of 2004 cpsi. Detailed catalyst testing revealed that powdered and structured Ni/CeO2 nanorods achieved the highest reaction rates, c.a. 5.5 and 6.2 mmol CO2 min−1·gNi−1 at 30 L h−1·gcat−1 and 300 °C, respectively, with negligible deactivation even after 90 h of fluctuating operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalCatalysis today
Early online date27 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • CO methanation
  • Multichannel monolith
  • Ni/CeO
  • Structured catalyst
  • Ceria nanorods


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