Pyrolysis/reforming of rice husks with a Ni–dolomite catalyst: Influence of process conditions on syngas and hydrogen yield

Qari M.K. Waheed, Chunfei Wu, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of process conditions on the production of syngas and H2 from biomass in the form of rice husks was investigated using a two-stage pyrolysis/catalytic reforming reactor. The parameters investigated were, reforming temperature, steam flow rate and biomass particle size and the catalyst used was a 10 wt.% Ni–dolomite catalyst. Biomass was pyrolysed in the first stage, and the product volatiles were reformed in the second stage in the presence of steam and the Ni–dolomite catalyst. Increase in catalyst temperature from 850 °C to 1050 °C marginally improved total syngas yield. However, H2 yield was increased from 20.03 mmol g−1 at 850 °C to 30.62 mmol g−1 at 1050 °C and H2 concentration in the product gas increased from 53.95 vol.% to 65.18 vol.%. Raising the steam flow rate increased the H2 yield and H2 gas concentration. A significant increase in H2:CO ratio along with a decrease in CO:CO2 ratio suggested a change in the equilibrium of the water gas shift reaction towards H2 formation with increased steam flow rate. The influence of particle size on H2 yield was small showing an increase in H2 production when the particle size was reduced from 2.8–3.3 to 0.2–0.5 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Issue number4
Early online date30 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass
  • Hydrogen
  • Pyrolysis
  • Reforming
  • Rice husk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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