The influence of metal loading and support surface functional groups (SFG) on methane dry reforming (MDR) over Ni catalysts supported on pine-sawdust derived activated carbon were studied. Using pine sawdust as the catalyst support precursor, the smallest variety and lowest concentration of SFG led to best Ni dispersion and highest catalytic activity, which increased with Ni loading up to 3 Ni atoms nm-2. At higher Ni loading, the formation of large metal aggregates was observed, consistent with a lower "apparent" surface area and a decrease in catalytic activity. The H2/CO ratio rose with increasing reaction temperature, indicating that increasingly important side reactions were taking place in addition to MDR.
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