Catalysts suitable for use in hydrocarbon conversion reactions are prepared by a method that comprises providing an alloy of at least one group VIII transition metal and at least one other metal selected from the group consisting of group IIa metals, group IVB metals and actinide metals, and reacting the alloy with a gas at a temperature high enough and for a time long enough to oxidize the other metal to produce a catalyst comprising the transition metal and an oxide of the other metal. For example, an alloy containing 23.7 Wt pct zr and 76.3 Wt pct ni was prepared by arc melting the components. After further treatment, including exposure to a h2-co mixture, x-ray diffraction indicated the presence of zro2 and ni metal. After a low-temperature treatment at 190 deg c, the material analyzed 3.0 Wt pct c and x-ray diffraction indicated the presence of zro2, ni3c, and ni metal. Methanation activity data showed the final material had high activity for the reaction CO + 3h2 = ch4 + h2o. Activity expressed as a turnover number [(moles/site-sec) x 103] is 9.3 At 225 deg c. Results are reported for other alloys with composition zrni5, zrni2.5, Hfni5, cani5, and uni5.
U.S. Pat. 4,287,095, Sept. 1, 1981; Chem. Abstr. 94:145,920A