The present work emphasizes synthesis and evaluation of rice husk (RH) derived nano structured silica material as support for Ni in the catalytic methane cracking (CMC) process. CO chemisorption results showed the 15 wt%Ni/RH-SiO2 catalyst exhibited a higher ratio of surface decorated Ni sites compared to other Ni loadings. TEM analysis of deactivated catalysts indicated the formation of carbon nano materials (mostly CNT/CNF) along with pure H2. Raman spectroscopic analysis of the deactivated catalysts exhibited a low proportion of graphitic carbon with a shift at 1320 cm−1 than the amorphous carbon band at 1580 cm−1. The superior performance of Ni supported on SiO2 was rationalized by H2-TPR, 29Si MAS NMR, XRD and BET-surface area analyses.