A commercial reforming catalyst promoted with K2O and CaO was used for the steam reforming of methane at different temperatures with different pre-reduction treatments. There was a significant effect of pre-reduction treatment on the carbon formation during steam reforming of methane over promoted Ni/Al2O3 catalyst. The partially reduced catalyst enhanced carbon formation when compared to fully reduced catalyst, possibly because some species in partially reduced catalyst (NiOx) acted to promote the initial carbon formation. There were no big differences among the activity and product yields of the same catalyst after different pre-reduction treatments, especially at 649°C. Although the partially reduced NiOx in the promoted reforming catalyst could be eventually fully reduced under high temperature reaction conditions, certain species in partially reduced catalyst might act as an active site for the initial carbon formation, which could be accumulated to become severe.
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