Nickel-catalysed pyrolysis/gasification of biomass components

Chunfei Wu, Zichun Wang, Valerie Dupont, Jun Huang, Paul T. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen and syngas production have been investigated from the pyrolysis/gasification of biomass components (cellulose, xylan and lignin) in the presence of Ni-based catalysts by using a two-stage fixed-bed reaction system. Biomass samples were pyrolysed at the first stage and the derived products were gasified at the second stage. The Ni-Mg-Al and Ni-Ca-Al catalysts, prepared by co-precipitation, were applied in the gasification process. The lignin sample pyrolysed with more difficulty (56.0 wt.% of residue fraction) compared with cellulose and xylan at 500 °C, and therefore resulted in the lowest gas yield (42.7 wt.%) for the pyrolysis/gasification of lignin. However, the highest H2 concentration from the three types of feedstock (55.1 vol.%) was collected for the lignin sample in the presence of steam and catalyst. Carbon deposition was very low as indicated from the TPO and SEM analyses of the reacted Ni-Mg-Al catalyst. The investigation of reaction conditions showed that water injection rate (0.02 and 0.05 g min-1) had little influence on the gas production from the pyrolysis/gasification of lignin in the presence of the Ni-Ca-Al catalyst; however, the increase of gasification temperature from 700 to 900 °C resulted in a higher gas and hydrogen production due to the promotion of secondary reactions during the gasification process. Furthermore, coking was highest for the reacted Ni-Ca-Al catalyst at the gasification temperature of 800 °C (7.27 wt.%), when the temperature was increased from 700 to 900 °C. This work shows that the components of biomass have a significant influence on the catalytic gasification process related to hydrogen and syngas production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass
  • Cellulose
  • Gasification
  • Hydrogen
  • Lignin
  • Xylan


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