Hydrogen is a promising renewable energy source that can be produced from biomass using aqueous-phase reforming (APR). Here, using data obtained from AspenPlus and the literature, we evaluated the phase state, temperature-dependent enthalpy, and Gibbs free energy for the APR of small biomass model substrates. Phase equilibrium studies reveal that, under typical APR reaction conditions, the reaction mixture is in the liquid phase. Therefore, we show for the first time that the water-gas shift reaction (WGSR), which is the second main reaction of APR, must be modeled in the liquid phase, resulting in an endothermic instead of an exothermic enthalpy of reaction. A significant implication of this finding is that, although APR has been introduced as more energy saving than conventional reforming methods, the WGSR in APR has a comparable energy demand to the WGSR in steam reforming (SR).
Ripken, R. M., Meuldijk, J., Gardeniers, J. G. E., & le Gac, S. (2017). Influence of the Water Phase State on the Thermodynamics of Aqueous Phase Reforming for Hydrogen Production. ChemSusChem, 10(24), 4909-4913. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201700189