Using RhCe/Al2O3 catalysts at residence times < 70 msec, carbohydrates such as cellulose and starch can be directly converted to synthesis gas products near equilibrium. The effect of steam addition, N2/O2 feed ratio, and air preheat conditions were examined to maximize selectivity to synthesis gas at all considered fuel/air ratios. The addition of steam resulted in ∼ 80% conversion of hydrogen in glycerol. Autothermal conversion was likely to occur by coupling the endothermic biomass decomposition process with highly exothermic catalytic partial oxidation. By directly contacting carbohydrate particles with a hot catalytic surface capable of providing high heating rates, the solid particle formed volatile organics which flowed into a porous catalyst and reformed with oxygen to form synthesis gas. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the AIChE Annual Meeting (Salt Lake City, UT 11/4-9/2007).