Hexaaluminate catalysts offer excellent high-temperature stability compared to the equivalent metal-based catalysts. Their stability also lends well to use as a catalyst support. However, use of novel hexaaluminates is limited in fuel processing for fuel-cell applications. In this paper, we report on the performance of hexaaluminates as a catalyst support in the steam reforming of methane. The hexaaluminates are synthesized by a metal-exchange process using alumoxane precursors that enable a wide range of metal substitutions. Performance is evaluated using a unique stagnation-flow reactor that enables detailed probing of the boundary layer above the catalyst-impregnated stagnation surface. Experimental results are compared with models to understand fundamental reaction kinetics and optimize catalyst performance. RhSr-substituted hexaaluminates with a Rh impregnation are shown to yield the best performance. Scanning- and Transmission-Electron Microscopy are used to characterize the different types of hexaaluminates, and to examine the effect of aging on catalyst structure.

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