The HTHP cell was used to collect FT-IR spectra of supported Ni catalysts under CO2 hydrogenation reaction conditions. Differences in spectral features are highlighted for different catalyst and correlated to catalytic performance. The use of operando spectroscopy has shown to be a powerful tool to investigate industrially relevant catalysts at work and to find vibrational activity descriptors. The knowledge gained can be used to further guide rational catalysts design, in this case looking for catalysts formulations which favour hydrogen transfer between the active phase and the support. The HTHP cell offers a facile way to study a wide variety of catalysts under different reaction conditions, gas compositions, temperatures and pressures.