Abstract Steam reforming of methane from biogas at a small scale could potentially provide a source of hydrogen for applications such as electricity generation via fuel cells. The efficiency of the reforming process is dependent upon an effective catalyst and thus this work aimed to produce a highly active catalyst for methane reforming which is resistant to deactivation. A nickel–silica [email protected] catalyst was synthesized by a deposition–precipitation method. The catalyst was characterized by XRD, SEM, TPR and infrared spectroscopy techniques. TEM analyses of sections of the catalyst embedded in resin confirmed that the catalyst had a [email protected] structure. Both forms of nickel phyllosilicate 1:1 and 2:1 were identified in the catalyst structure. The performance of the catalyst in methane steam reforming was investigated. The catalyst showed relatively high methane conversion 85% at 750 °C.