Intermetallic Compounds of the Type MNi5 as Methanation Catalysts

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Science  03 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4294, pp. 1093-1094
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4294.1093


Catalytic reactions of carbon monoxide with hydrogen have been studied in which intermetallic compounds of the formula MNi5 (where M is thorium, uranium, or zirconium) have been used as the catalysts. The materials perform effectively as methanation catalysts; ThNi5 has a specific activity exceeding that of a typical commercial oxide-supported methanation catalyst by a factor of about 5. This material also shows superior resistance to hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Nickel, formed as a decomposition product of the MNi5 intermetallic compound, is probably the active species, but its properties are influenced by the nature of M in the precursor MNi5 system.