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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Yun Hang Hu


Dario Stacchiola


Global warming issue becomes more significant to human beings and other organisms on the earth. Among many greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) has the largest contribution to global warming. To find an effective way to utilize the greenhouse gas is urgent. It is the best way to convert CO2 to useful compounds. CO2 reforming of methane is an attractive process to convert CO2 and methane into synthesis gas (CO/H2), which can be used as a feedstock for gasoline, methanol, and other hydrocarbons. Nickel and cobalt were found to have good activity for CO2 reforming. However, they have a poor stability due to carbon deposition. This research developed efficient Ni-Co solid solution catalysts with excellent activities and high stability for CO2 reforming of methane.

First, the structure of binary oxide solid solution of nickel and cobalt was investigated. It was found that while the calcination of Ni(NO3)2 and Co(NO3)2 mixture with 1:1 molar ratio at a high temperature above 800 oC generated NiO-CoO solid solution, only Ni3O4-Co3O4 solid solution was observed after the calcination at a low temperature of 500 oC. Furthermore, if the calcination was carried out at a medium temperature arranged from 600 to 700 oC, both NiO-CoO and Ni3O4-Co3O4 solid solutions can be formed. This occurred because Co3O4 can induce the formation of Ni3O4, whereas NiO can stabilize CoO. In addition, the lattice parameter of Ni3O4, which was predicted by using Vegard’s Law, is 8.2054 Å.

As a very important part of this dissertation, Ni-Co solid solution was evaluated as catalysts for CO2 reforming of methane. It was revealed that nickel-cobalt solid solution showed excellent catalytic performance and high stability for CO2 reforming of methane. However, the stability of Ni-Co solid solution catalysts is strongly dependent on their composition and preparation condition. The optimum composition is 50%Ni-50%Co. Furthermore, the structure of Ni-Co catalysts was characterized by XRD, Vvis, TPR, TPD, BET, AES, TEM, XANES and EXAFS. The relationship between the structure and the catalytic performance was established: (1) The reduced NiO-CoO solid solution possesses better catalytic performance and stability than the reduced Ni3O4-Co3O4 solid solution. (2) Ni is richer on surface in Ni-Co catalysts. And (3) the reduction of Ni-Co-O solid solution generated two types of particles, small and large particles. The small ones are dispersed on large ones as catalytic component.