R. Tungal, M. Subramanian, C. Lew, R.V. Shende
thermochemical processing, biomass, nanoscale catalysts, H2, hydrocarbon
Catalytic biomass reforming (CBR) has a great potential for the production of H2 and hydrocarbon fuels. This study reports: i) subcritical aqueous phase liquefaction of biomass using homogeneous catalyst such as Ni(NO3)2 salt for the production of H2 and ii) synthesis of novel nanoscale catalytic materials and investigation of CBR for the production of H2 and hydrocarbons from biomass. Three different kinds of catalysts were prepared using wet-impregnation, solid state synthesis and sol-gel approaches. In the case of sol-gel approach, Ni-salt was dispersed in ethanol/water solution containing pluronic 123 and gelation was achieved using propylene oxide. As prepared material was aged, dried, calcined at 400-600oC and immobilized with Ni by wet-incipient method followed by reduction in H2 environment. As received zeolite powder was impregnated with Ni/Cu salt solution and reduced with H2 to achieve metal supported zeolite catalyst. A solid state synthesis was also undertaken to prepare NiO nanoparticles. The catalytic materials were characterized using X-ray diffraction, FTIR, SEM, and TEM. The gas phase from the reactor was analyzed using GC. The processed slurry obtained was analyzed by TOC analyzer, GC-MS and HPLC. The results obtained on H2 and hydrocarbon production from CBR processing using nanoscale catalysts will be presented.