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Nickel phosphide catalyst for autothermal reforming of surrogate gasoline fuel



An investigation into the catalytic autothermal reforming (ATR) of a mixture of n-octane and naphthalene (6 wt %), designed as a surrogate gasoline, is undertaken. Carbon deposition on the metallic Ni catalyst has been aware of the main hurdle for the catalytic reforming of hydrocarbons especially those with high carbon numbers. This work develops NixPy crystallites on a CeO2 powder support by electroless nickel plating and calcination. The catalyst exhibits nil coking extent after reforming the surrogate fuel. The NixPy crystallites are determined by XRD and its Ni-P bonding is confirmed by XPS, where the Ni carries slightly higher negative charge than the Ni0 as usually observed. The XPS investigation also divulges the presence of Ce3+ species in the CeO2 support on which the NixPy crystallites are distributed, indicating that the support contains oxygen vacancies. These two subtle structural differences are proposed to provide the catalyst with resistance to coking. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011