Millisecond autothermal steam reforming of cellulose for synthetic biofuels by reactive flash volatilization

Joshua L. Colby, Paul J. Dauenhauer, Lanny D. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three biomass-to-liquid process steps (volatilization of cellulose, tar-cleaning of organic products, and water-gas-shift of the gaseous effluent) have been integrated into a single autothermal catalytic reactor for the production of high quality synthesis gas at millisecond residence times (∼30 ms). Particles of cellulose (∼300 μm) were directly impinged upon the hot, catalytic bed of Rh-Ce/γ-Al2O3 catalyst on 1.3 mm α-Al2O3 spheres in the presence of O2, N2, and steam in a continuous flow fixed-bed reactor at 500-1100°C. Complete conversion to gases was observed for all experimental parameters including N2/O2, S/C, the total flow rate of cellulose, and the fuel-to-oxygen ratio (C/O). The addition of steam increased the selectivity to H2 and decreased the selectivity to CO in agreement with water-gas-shift equilibrium. Optimal conditions produced a clean gaseous effluent which exhibited ∼80% selectivity to H2 at a synthesis gas ratio of H2/CO = 2.3 with no dilution from N 2 at a fuel efficiency of ∼75%. Carbon-free processing was explained by relating the domain of experimental parameters to the thermodynamic prediction for the formation of solid carbon, CS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-783
Number of pages11
JournalGreen Chemistry
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2008

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Biofuels
Steam reforming
volatilization
Gaseous effluents
Vaporization
biofuel
Cellulose
cellulose
Water gas shift
Synthesis gas
Steam
Carbon Monoxide
Carbon
gas
Tars
Tar
Dilution
Cleaning
effluent
Biomass

Cite this

Millisecond autothermal steam reforming of cellulose for synthetic biofuels by reactive flash volatilization. / Colby, Joshua L.; Dauenhauer, Paul J.; Schmidt, Lanny D.

In: Green Chemistry, Vol. 10, No. 7, 07.07.2008, p. 773-783.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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