Ni-based catalyst development for hydrogen enrich syngas production from biomass gasification

  • Biomass gasification is a promising technology to produce renewable hydrogen or hydrogen enriched syngas for a sustainable chemical industry. However, producing hydrogen from the biomass gasification process has several challenges such as low hydrogen production and high tar formation. Recently, biomass catalytic gasification has received great interest due to the increase of hydrogen yield and the decrease of tar formation. One significant challenge for catalytic gasification is to develop an efficient catalyst with high catalytic activity for hydrogen production and high catalyst stability in terms of coke deposition and metal sintering. In this work, several active metals including Ni, Co, Cu and Fe were investigated using Al2O3 as catalyst support for hydrogen production from biomass gasification. Additionally, different catalyst promoters such as Ca, Ce, Mn were studied. The experimental results show that the highest hydrogen production (24.32 mmol g-1 biomass) was obtained with the Ni-Ce/Al2O3 catalyst, indicating the effective promotion of Ce metal. Fe-based catalysts produced a much higher molar ratio of H2/CO (2.87), while the Cu/Al2O3 catalyst only produced a gas with a H2/CO molar ratio of 0.89. The high concentration of CO2 and low concentration of CO produced from the Fe-based catalyst demonstrated that the catalyst might be effective for promoting water gas shift reaction. In addition, although the carbon deposition was low on the surface of the reacted Fe/Al2O3 catalyst, filamentous carbons could be easily identified, compared with other catalysts. From temperature programmed oxidation analysis of the reacted catalysts (Figure 1), reducing the injection of water into the process with the Fe-based catalyst, carbon deposition was shown to be significantly increased.


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