Hydrogen production via steam reforming of the aqueous phase of bio-oil in a fixed bed reactor

Panagiotis N. Kechagiopoulos*, Spyros S. Voutetakis, Angeliki A. Lemonidou, Iacovos A. Vasalos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

168 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources is of great interest as an alternative to fossil fuels and as a means for power generation via fuel cells. The aqueous fraction of bio-oil can be effectively reformed to hydrogen-rich streams in the presence of active catalytic materials. In this paper, we present the experimental work carried out in a fixed bed reactor for the reforming of bio-oil. The performance of the reactor was studied at various conditions and compared to the values theoretically predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium. The effect of reaction temperature, steam-to-carbon ratio in the feed, and space velocity was investigated in the presence of a commercial nickel catalyst. Runs were conducted with acetic acid, acetone, and ethylene glycol, representative model compounds of bio-oil, and the aqueous phase of a real bio-oil derived from beech wood. The results of the selected model compounds show that all can be effectively reformed with hydrogen yields up to 90% at reaction temperatures higher than 600 degrees C and steam-to-carbon ratios higher than 3. The reforming of the aqueous fraction of bio-oil proved to be more difficult, with the hydrogen yield fluctuating at about 60%. The most serious problem encountered in these experiments is coking. The formation of carbonaceous deposits in the upper part of the catalyst zone limits the reforming time and necessitates frequent regeneration of the catalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2155-2163
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2006

Keywords

  • CATALYTIC PARTIAL OXIDATION
  • FAST-PYROLYSIS
  • ACETIC-ACID
  • OPERATING-CONDITIONS
  • MODEL COMPOUNDS
  • SYNTHESIS GAS
  • FUEL-CELLS
  • BIOMASS
  • PLASTICS
  • METHANE

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