Drastic changes in biomass char structure and reactivity upon contact with steam

Daniel M. Keown, Jun Ichiro Hayashi, Chun Zhu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


An Australian cane trash biomass was pyrolysed by heating at a slow heating rate to 700-900 °C in an inert gas atmosphere. The chars were then gasified in situ with steam. Our results indicate that the gasification of char with steam, even only for 20 s when the char conversion was minimal, resulted in drastic reduction in the intrinsic reactivity of char with air at 400 °C. The decreases in the char reactivity were not mainly due to the possible volatilisation of inherent catalysts during gasification in steam. Instead, the FT-Raman spectroscopy of the chars showed that the gasification of char with steam resulted in drastic changes in char structure including the transformation of smaller ring systems (3-5 fused rings) to large ring systems (≥6 fused rings). It is believed that the intermediates of char-steam reactions, especially H, penetrated deep into the char matrix to induce the ring condensation reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1132
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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