Fast microwave-assisted catalytic gasification of biomass for syngas production and tar removal

Qinglong Xie, Fernanda Cabral Borges, Yanling Cheng, Yiqin Wan, Yun Li, Xiangyang Lin, Yuhuan Liu, Fida Hussain, Paul Chen, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


In the present study, a microwave-assisted biomass gasification system was developed for syngas production. Three catalysts including Fe, Co and Ni with Al2O3 support were examined and compared for their effects on syngas production and tar removal. Experimental results showed that microwave is an effective heating method for biomass gasification. Ni/Al2O3 was found to be the most effective catalyst for syngas production and tar removal. The gas yield reached above 80% and the composition of tar was the simplest when Ni/Al2O3 catalyst was used. The optimal ratio of catalyst to biomass was determined to be 1:5-1:3. The addition of steam was found to be able to improve the gas production and syngas quality. Results of XRD analyses demonstrated that Ni/Al2O3 catalyst has good stability during gasification process. Finally, a new concept of microwave-assisted dual fluidized bed gasifier was put forward for the first time in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their great appreciation to DOT/Sun Grant, USDA/DOE, and University of Minnesota IREE and Center for Biorefining, as well as China Scholarship Council (CSC) , CNPq and CAPES for their financial support for this work. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.


  • Dual fluidized bed gasifier (DFBG)
  • Gasification
  • Microwave
  • Nickel based catalyst
  • Tar


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