Catalytic decomposition of biomass tars with iron oxide catalysts

Md Azhar Uddin, Hiroshi Tsuda, Shengji Wu, Eiji Sasaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


Catalytic gasification of wood (Cedar) biomass was carried out using a specially designed flow-type double beds micro reactor in a two step process: temperature programmed non-catalytic steam gasification of biomass was performed in the first (top) bed at 200-850 °C followed by catalytic decomposition gasification of volatile matters (including tars) in the second (bottom) bed at a constant temperature, mainly 600 °C. Iron oxide catalysts, which transformed to Fe3O4 after use possessed catalytic activity in biomass tar decomposition. Above 90% of the volatile matters was gasified by the use of iron oxide catalyst (prepared from FeCl3 and NH3aq) at SV of 4.5 × 103 h-1. Tar was decomposed over the iron oxide catalysts followed by water gas shift reaction. Surface area of the iron oxide seemed to be an important factor for the catalytic tar decomposition. The activity of the iron oxide catalysts for tar decomposition seemed stable with cyclic use but the activity of the catalysts for the water gas shift reaction decreased with repeated use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Biomass steam gasification
  • Iron oxide catalysts
  • Tar decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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