Dry-bed adsorptive desulfurization of biomass-based syngas with low to medium sulfur content using ZnO was investigated as an alternative to the conventional wet scrubbing processes. The technical feasibility of ZnO-based desulfurization was studied in laboratory-scale H2S breakthrough experiments. The experiments were set up to utilize realistic H2S concentrations from gasification and therefore long breakthrough times. Experiments were performed in a steam-rich model biosyngas in varying conditions. The long-term breakthrough experiments showed apparent ZnO utilization rates between 10 and 50% in the tested conditions, indicating intraparticle mass-transfer resistances partly due to space velocity and particle size constraints as well as the most likely product-layer resistances as evidenced by the large spent adsorbent surface area decrease. An empirical deactivation model to estimate full breakthrough curves was fitted to the laboratory-scale experimental data. Breakthrough experiment in tar-rich syngas was also performed with the conclusion that ZnO performance is not significantly affected by hydrocarbons despite carbon deposition on the particle surfaces.