Catalytic steam reforming of volatiles released via pyrolysis of wood sawdust for hydrogen-rich gas production on Fe-Zn/Al2O3 nanocatalysts

Fangyuan Chen, Chunfei Wu*, Lisha Dong, Fangzhu Jin, Paul T. Williams, Jun Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Thermo-chemical processing of biomass is a promising alternative to produce renewable hydrogen as a clean fuel or renewable syngas for a sustainable chemical industry. However, the fast deactivation of catalysts due to coke formation and sintering limits the application of catalytic thermo-chemical processing in the emerging bio-refining industry. In this research, Fe-Zn/Al2O3 nanocatalysts have been prepared for the production of hydrogen through pyrolysis catalytic reforming of wood sawdust. Through characterization, it was found that Fe and Zn were well distributed on the surface with a narrow particle size. During the reactions, the yield of hydrogen increased with the increase of Zn content, as Zn is an efficient metal promoter for enhancing the performance of the Fe active site in the reaction. The 20% Fe/Al2O3 catalyst with Zn/Al ratio of 1:1 showed the best performance in the process in relation to the hydrogen production and resistance to coke formation on the surface of the reacted catalyst. All the catalysts showed ultra-high stability during the process and nearly no sintering were observed on the used catalysts. Therefore, the nanocatalysts prepared in this work from natural-abundant and low-cost metals have promising catalytic properties (high metal dispersion and stability) to produce H2-rich syngas with optimal H2/CO ratio from the thermo-chemical processing of biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Early online date01 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


  • Biomass
  • Catalyst
  • Hydrogen
  • Nanocatalysts
  • Reforming
  • Syngas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry

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