Background: Hydrogen has been considered the energy source of the future and one of the
processes for its production is the methane steam reforming. The catalyst used industrially is Ni/Al2O3
and the addition of promoter oxides can be an alternative to improve the performance of this catalyst,
which suffers from coke formation and sintering.
Objective: Evaluate the role of niobia on catalytic activity and stability.
Methods: Ni/x%Nb2O5/Al2O3 (x = 5, 10 and 20) catalysts were synthesized via coprecipitation-wet impregnation
method and characterized by X-ray fluorescence (XRF), N2 adsorption-desorption, X-ray diffraction
(XRD), temperature- programmed reduction (TPR), temperature-programmed desorption of
ammonia (TPD-NH3), etc. Finally, the catalysts were tested for methane steam reforming reaction.
Results: All niobia-doped catalysts presented similar values of methane conversion and when comparing
with Ni-Al, the addition of niobia slightly improved the methane conversion. In the stability test at
800oC, all doped and non-doped catalysts did not deactivate during the 24 h of reaction.
Conclusion: The addition of 10 and 20 wt.% of niobia had a significant promoter effect over Ni/Al2O3
catalyst in terms of activity and stability at 800 oC and the sample with 20 wt.% of niobia presented
lower coke formation.