In this paper the potential of using biomass char as a catalyst for tar reduction is discussed. Biomass char is compared with other known catalysts used for tar conversion. Model tar compounds, phenol and naphthalene, were used to test char and other catalysts. Tests were carried out in a fixed bed tubular reactor at a temperature range of 700–900 °C under atmospheric pressure and a gas residence time in the empty catalyst bed of 0.3 s. Biomass chars are compared with calcined dolomite, olivine, used fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst, biomass ash and commercial nickel catalyst. The conversion of naphthalene and phenol over these catalysts was carried out in the atmosphere of CO2 and steam. At 900 °C, the conversion of phenol was dominated by thermal cracking whereas naphthalene conversion was dominated by catalytic conversion. Biomass chars gave the highest naphthalene conversion among the low cost catalysts used for tar removal. Further, biomass char is produced continuously during the gasification process, while the other catalysts undergo deactivation. A simple first order kinetic model is used to describe the naphthalene conversion with biomass char.
- Biomass char