A massive shaped catalyst comprising a nickel-aluminum alloy having a surface layer of high surface area nickel. The reaction of CO and h2 to form ch4 is highly exothermic. The catalyst usually used is raney nickel in the form of pellets, and removal of the heat of reaction by gaseous conduction is a major problem. An alternative solution is to flame spray raney nickel alloy onto the inner surface of a stainless steel tube in contact with an external coolant, but that is costly and the ability to regenerate spent catalyst is limited. The purpose of this invention is to provide a means for removing the heat of reaction by making the catalyst in massive shapes, for example longitudinal fins surrounding a central core (which may contain a tube through which coolant is circulated). A variety of geometries (cross shapes, star shapes, cylinders, or parallel plates) and forming techniques (centrifugal casting, sand casting, investment casting, or welding) may be employed. The shapes may be either a loose fit (for easy replacement) or a snug fit (for better heat transfer) in the enclosing tube through which the gas mixture flows. Each segment is relatively short (perhaps 6 inches) compared with the overall length of the reaction tube, for easy replacement of individual segments. After the massive shape is formed from raney nickel alloy, a surface layer of active catalyst is formed by leaching the nickel-aluminum alloy with sodium hydroxide solution by well-known methods.
U.S. Pat. 4,089,812, May 16, 1978; Chem. Abstr. Not Found