An active and relatively stable Ni-Ce-ZrO2 catalyst has been designed and prepared conveniently by a novel one-step co-precipitation/digestion method. This catalyst exhibited higher stability compared with a catalyst having the same composition but prepared using the conventional impregnation method. It was found that 15% Ni (w/w) co-precipitated with Ce-ZrO2 making the cubic phase of Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 gave synthesis gas with CH4 conversion more than 97% at 800°C and that the activity was maintained for 100 h during the reaction. The higher activity, conversion and stability of these catalysts are mainly related to the nano-crystalline nature of cubic Ce1-xZrxO2 producing strong interaction with finely dispersed nano-sized NiOx crystallites.
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