DOI: 10.1002/kin.21704 ISSN: 0538-8066

Aqueous‐phase reforming of model compounds of wet biomass to hydrogen on alumina‐supported metal catalysts

Rohini S. Zambare, Prakash D. Vaidya
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


Catalytic aqueous‐phase reforming (APR) of wet biomass such as microalgae and activated sludge is a potential technique for the production of H2‐rich gaseous products. In the present work, model compounds such as ethylene glycol, xylose and alanine were selected as representatives of the polyols, carbohydrates and proteins in wet biomass. APR trials were performed in a stirred batch reactor using commercial Pt/Al2O3 and Ru/Al2O3 catalysts. The reforming reactions were investigated at different conditions: temperature (T), 498 to 518 K, feed concentration, 1 to 5 wt. %, catalyst loading (ω), 2 to 6 kg/m3, and reaction time (t), 1 to 6 h. The commercial Pt/Al2O3 catalyst exhibited higher reforming activity. The influence of reaction parameters on turnover frequency (TOFH₂), hydrogen yield (Y‐H2) and carbon‐to‐gas conversion (C to G conversion) was studied. The values of TOFH₂ for Pt/Al2O3 were measured at T = 518 K, ω = 2 kg/m3 and t = 3 h using 1 wt% feed and these values were 19.2, 4 and 6 1/min for ethylene glycol, xylose and alanine. The values of TOFH₂ over Ru/Al2O3 under identical conditions were: ethylene glycol–12.4, xylose–1.4 and alanine–5.4 1/min. The activation energies for H2 production from ethylene glycol, xylose and alanine over Pt/Al2O3 and Ru/Al2O3 catalysts were determined. APR of the mixture of model compounds was also studied over laboratory‐made Pt/Al2O3 and Ru/Al2O3 catalysts at the optimum reaction conditions. Thus, this work has provided crucial insights into the production of H2 from model compounds of wet biomass using Al2O3‐supported catalysts.

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