The present invention provides novel catalysts for accomplishing catalytic decomposition of undiluted light hydrocarbons to a hydrogen product, and methods for preparing such catalysts. In one aspect, a method is provided for preparing a catalyst by admixing an aqueous solution of an iron salt, at least one additional catalyst metal salt, and a suitable oxide substrate support, and precipitating metal oxyhydroxides onto the substrate support. An incipient wetness method, comprising addition of aqueous solutions of metal salts to a dry oxide substrate support, extruding the resulting paste to pellet form, and calcining the pellets in air is also discloses. In yet another aspect, a process is provided for producing hydrogen from an undiluted light hydrocarbon reactant, comprising contacting the hydrocarbon reactant with a catalyst as described above in a reactor, and recovering a substantially carbon monoxide-free hydrogen product stream. In still yet another aspect, a process is provided for catalytic decomposition of an undiluted light hydrocarbon reactant to obtain hydrogen and a valuable multi-walled carbon nanotube coproduct.