Steam reforming of model compounds and fast pyrolysis bio-oil on supported noble metal catalysts

C. Rioche, Shrikant Kulkarni, Frederic Meunier, John Breen, Robbie Burch

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382 Citations (Scopus)


The production of hydrogen by steam reforming of bio-oils obtained from the fast pyrolysis of biomass requires the development of efficient catalysts able to cope with the complex chemical nature of the reactant. The present work focuses on the use of noble metal-based catalysts for the steam reforming of a few model compounds and that of an actual bio-oil. The steam reforming of the model compounds was investigated in the temperature range 650-950 degrees C over Pt, Pd and Rh supported on alumina and a ceria-zirconia sample. The model compounds used were acetic acid, phenol, acetone and ethanol. The nature of the support appeared to play a significant role in the activity of these catalysts. The use of ceria-zirconia, a redox mixed oxide, lead to higher H-2 yields as compared to the case of the alumina-supported catalysts. The supported Rh and Pt catalysts were the most active for the steam reforming of these compounds, while Pd-based catalysts poorly performed. The activity of the promising Pt and Rh catalysts was also investigated for the steam reforming of a bio-oil obtained from beech wood fast pyrolysis. Temperatures close to, or higher than, 800 degrees C were required to achieve significant conversions to COx and H-2 (e.g., H-2 yields around 70%). The ceria-zirconia materials showed a higher activity than the corresponding alumina samples. A Pt/ceria-zirconia sample used for over 9 h showed essentially constant activity, while extensive carbonaceous deposits were observed on the quartz reactor walls from early time on stream. In the present case, no benefit was observed by adding a small amount of O-2 to the steam/bio-oil feed (autothermal reforming, ATR), probably partly due to the already high concentration of oxygen in the bio-oil composition. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Volume61 (1-2)
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Environmental Chemistry

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