Simultaneous steam reforming of tar and steam gasification of char from the pyrolysis of potassium-loaded woody biomass

Tsukasa Sueyasu, Tomoyuki Oike, Aska Mori, Shinji Kudo, Koyo Norinaga, Jun Ichiro Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a two-stage conversion of biomass into gas, which consists of pyrolysis at 500-600 °C and steam reforming/gasification at 600-700 °C, and has a special feature of recycling of the potassium (K) catalyst. The proposed process was simulated experimentally employing K-loaded cedar as the feedstock and char from its pyrolysis as the catalyst for tar reforming. Tar from the pyrolysis was reformed over the char in a sequence of carbon deposition onto the pore surface and K-catalyzed steam gasification of the deposit, while K-catalyzed char gasification created active pores simultaneously. At the steam/carbon molar ratio of 0.55-1.10, the catalysis of K simultaneously realized the concentration of heavy tar (boiling point temperature > 336 °C) in the product gas as low as 20 mg m 3 N dry and progress of the char gasification as fast as that of char formation by the pyrolysis. The concentration of hydrogen in the product gas exceeded 50 vol % dry. A portion of K was released from the pyrolyzing cedar, fully captured by the char bed of the reformer, and involved in the steam reforming and gasification. A major portion of K retained in/on the spent char was extracted with water. The resulting aqueous solution of K was ready to be used as spray for K loading on the feedstock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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