Design of nickel-based bimetallic catalysts and insight into the influence of catalyst composition and morphology on carbon yield and structure

The project aims to obtain fundamental insights in all factors influencing carbon nanofiber growth from methane over Ni-based catalysts.

An attractive route towards CO2-free production of hydrogen is the thermocatalytic decomposition of methane. Next to hydrogen, valuable carbon nanomaterials can be formed. The carbon nanomaterials have interesting properties, e.g. high electron conductivity and mechanical strength. The properties depend strongly on the carbon structure. For tuning the properties, it is key to understand the carbon formation, and how it is influenced by the catalyst properties, or reaction conditions. Many different kinetic properties or optimal conditions have been reported in literature, but there is no detailed conceptional framework yet. In this project, we study how the carbon growth is influenced by the reaction parameters and catalyst composition. We obtain detailed fundamental knowledge by studying carbon growth in-situ gravimetrically and comparing these results with (in-situ) TEM (collaboration with Post Doc Tom Welling).