Coproduction of clean syngas and iron from woody biomass and natural goethite ore

Shinji Kudo, Keigo Sugiyama, Koyo Norinaga, Chun Zhu Li, Tomohiro Akiyama, Jun Ichiro Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Conversion of biomass into clean syngas was studied considering application of low-grade iron ore to reforming of tar. Chipped cedar with moisture content of 0.1-10.1 wt% was continuously pyrolysed at 550 °C, and the nascent volatiles were subjected to reforming at 690-800 °C in a bed of mesoporous hematite derived from a type of natural goethite. The yield of heavy tar (b.p. > 350 °C) decreased from 18.8 to less than 0.01 wt% during the reforming mainly by its oxidation by the ore and conversion into coke. The hematite was reduced completely to magnetite and further but incompletely to wustite. The formation of iron was inhibited by high CO2/CO and H 2O/H2 ratios of the gas phase. The coke-loaded magnetite/wustite mixture was, however, an excellent precursor of iron. Reheating the spent ore up to 800 °C in the absence of the volatiles reduced the magnetite/wustite to wustite/iron obeying direct and indirect reduction mechanisms. Repeated cycles of such reheating and reforming converted the volatiles and ore into syngas with a total tar concentration as low as 10 mg Nm-3-dry and coke-loaded iron, respectively. Contribution of the steam reforming with iron-wustite redox cycles became more important as the reforming-reheating cycles were repeated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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