Catalytic Pyrolysis of Tar Model Compound with Various Bio-Char Catalysts to Recycle Char from Biomass Pyrolysis

Jinmiao Liu, Yanfeng He, Xinxin Ma, Guangqing Liu, Yao Yao, Hui Liu, Hong Chen, Yan Huang, Chang Chen, Wen Wang


Tar and char can be regarded as unwanted byproducts during the gasification process. In this study, three types of catalyst, i.e., biomass char (bio-char), nickel supported on biomass (Ni+bio-char), and nickel supported on bio-char (bio-char+Ni), were studied to compare the catalytic effects of different preparation methods on tar model compound removal. The structural characteristics of the three catalysts were also investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) methods. The results revealed that Ni+bio-char catalyst showed much higher activity for the reformation of toluene (C7H8) as a tar model compound than the other two catalysts. Toluene could be completely converted to small gas molecules at a conversion rate of 99.92% at 800 °C, and the maximum yield of gas was 432 mL/(mL C7H8). In particular, the H2 and CH4 yields were 339 and 85 mL/(mL C7H8) at 850 °C, respectively. An N2 absorption-desorption experiment demonstrated that the specific surface area of Ni+bio-char was 32.87 times that of bio-char and 8.39 times that of bio-char+Ni. Moreover, metallic nickel (Ni0) particles could be generated in the carbon matrix of Ni+bio-char catalyst. SEM analysis confirmed that the Ni+bio-char catalyst had a more porous structure. Nickel supported on biomass might be a promising catalyst for tar reformation because of its excellent catalytic activities.


Bio-char; Char-supported catalyst; Tar reformation; Catalytic pyrolysis; Metal impregnation

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126