A metal substituted hexaaluminate catalyst for reforming hydrocarbon fuels to synthesis gas of the general formula AB.sub.yAl.sub.12-yO.sub.19-.delta., A being selected from alkali metals, alkaline earth metals and lanthanide metals or mixtures thereof. A dopant or surface modifier selected from a transitions metal, a spinel of an oxygen-ion conductor is incorporated. The dopant may be Ca, Cs, K, La, Sr, Ba, Li, Mg, Ce, Co, Fe, Ir, Rh, Ni, Ru, Cu, Pe, Os, Pd, Cr, Mn, W, Re, Sn, Gd, V, Ti, Ag, Au, and mixtures thereof. The oxygen-ion conductor may be a perovskite selected from M'RhO.sub.3, M'PtO.sub.3, M'PdO.sub.3, M'IrO.sub.3, M'RuO.sub.3 wherein M'=Mg, Sr, Ba, La, Ca; a spinel selected from MRh.sub.2O.sub.4, MPt.sub.2O.sub.4, MPd.sub.2O.sub.4, MIr.sub.2O.sub.4, MRu.sub.2O.sub.4 wherein M=Mg, Sr, Ba, La, Ca and mixtures thereof; a florite is selected from M''O.sub.2.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement between National Energy Technology Laboratory and pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the U.S. Department of Energy and the inventors.