Reforming of methane to produce synthesis gas for the Fischer–Tropsch process provides an alternative to fossil fuels. Silica-encaged ceria–nickel hydroxide catalysts were produced by an in situ synthesis method to obtain ultrafine bimetallic species dispersed evenly within the mesoporous silica matrix. Dry reforming and reduction-oxidation cycling was undertaken with the materials. Catalysts with high content of nickel showed good activity during dry reforming, with conversions rates close to equilibrium in equimolar conditions. Insignificant deactivation of the catalysts was observed over 5 h and 50 h of reaction at 900 °C. Syngas production via reduction–oxidation cycling was shown to be insignificant as compared to continuous catalytic reforming.

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