Nano-structured noble metal catalysts based on hexametallate lattices, of a spinel block type, and which are resistant to carbon deposition and metal sulfide formation are provided. The catalysts are designed for the reforming of hydrocarbon fuels to synthesis gas. The hexametallate lattices are doped with noble metals (Au, Pt, Rh, Ru) which are atomically dispersed as isolated sites throughout the lattice and take the place of hexametallate metal ions such as Cr, Ga, In, and/or Nb. Mirror cations in the crystal lattice are selected from alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, and the lanthanide metals, so as to reduce the acidity of the catalyst crystal lattice and enhance the desorption of carbon deposit forming moieties such as aromatics. The catalysts can be used at temperatures as high as 1000.degree. C. and pressures up to 30 atmospheres. A method for producing these catalysts and applications of their use also is provided.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.