Production of COx-free hydrogen and nanocarbon by direct decomposition of undiluted methane on Ni-Cu-alumina catalysts

Jiuling Chen*, Yongdan Li, Zongquan Li, Xixiang Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Active and stable coprecipitated Ni-Cu-alumina catalysts were employed for direct decomposition of undiluted methane to produce COx-free hydrogen and nanocarbon at 773-1013K in a tubular reactor. Methane conversion increased with the reaction temperature, however, the catalyst stability declined. The weight ratio of formed solid nanocarbon and the catalyst employed attained about 380 and 280 g C/g cat at 873 and 973 K, respectively. Simultaneously, 30 and 70vol.% hydrogen could be produced steadily for approximately 70 and 20h, respectively. The doping of copper enhanced the catalyst stability when employed in a suitable amount. However, it made the catalyst particles to become quasi-liquid state at 973-1013K in methane decomposition. Consequently, the catalyst particles were easily cut into small particles and encapsulated by the growing carbon layers. The tendency became pronounced with the increase of copper content. This effect may play an important role for the deactivation at high temperature in methane decomposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 18 2004


  • CO-free hydrogen
  • Methane decomposition
  • Nanocarbon
  • Ni-Cu-alumina catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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