Production of Hydrogen from Biomass by Catalytic Steam Reforming of Fast Pyrolysis Oils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrogen is of great interest as the cleanest fuel for power generation using fuel cells and for transportation. Biomass can be thermochemically converted to hydrogen via two distinct strategies: (1) gasification followed by shift conversion, and (2) fast pyrolysis of biomass followed by catalytic steam reforming and shift conversion of specific fractions. This paper presents the latter route.The process begins with fast pyrolysis of biomass to produce bio-oil, which (as a whole or its selected fractions) can be converted to hydrogen via catalytic steam reforming followed by a shift conversion step. Such a process has been demonstrated at the bench scale using model compounds and the aqueous fraction of poplar oil with commercial nickel-based steam-reforming catalysts. Hydrogenyields as high as 85% of the stoichiometric value have been obtained. Initial catalyst activity can be maintained through periodic regeneration via steam or carbon dioxide (CO2) gasification of the carbonaceous deposits.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-570-23214


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