In recent years, the potential use of hydrogen as a clean energy source has gained considerable attention. Especially H2 formation by Ni-catalyzed reforming of methane at elevated temperatures is an attractive process. However, a more fundamental knowledge at the atomic level is needed for a full comprehension of the reactions at the catalyst surface. In this contribution, we therefore investigate the H2 formation after CH x impacts on a Ni(1 1 1) surface in the temperature range 400-1600 K, by means of reactive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the ReaxFF potential. While some H2 formation is already observed at the lower temperatures, substantial H2 formation is only obtained at elevated temperatures of 1400 K and above. At 1600 K, the H2 molecules are even the most frequently formed species. In direct correlation with the increasing dehydrogenation at elevated temperatures, an increased surface-to-subsurface C-diffusivity is observed as well. This study highlights the major importance of the temperature on the H2 formation.
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