Regeneration of NiAl2O4 spinel type catalysts used in the reforming of raw bio-oil

A. Remiro (Corresponding Author), A. Arandia, L. Oar-Arteta, J. Bilbao, A.G. Gayubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The regenerability of Ni catalysts in reforming reactions is a key factor for process viability. Accordingly, this study addresses the regeneration of two spinel NiAl 2O 4 type catalysts by reaction-regeneration cycles in the oxidative steam reforming (OSR) of raw bio-oil. The spinel type catalysts were prepared by different methods including a supported Ni/La 2O 3-αAl 2O 3 catalyst and a bulk NiAl 2O 4 catalyst. The experimental set-up consists of two units connected in series for i) the thermal treatment of bio-oil at 500 °C, in order to control the deposition of pyrolytic lignin, followed by; ii) the oxidative steam reforming (OSR) of the remaining oxygenates in a fluidized bed catalytic reactor. The conditions in the OSR reaction step were: 700 °C; oxygen/steam/carbon ratio (O/S/C), 0.34/6/1; space time, 0.75 g catalysth/g bio-oil (for supported catalyst) and 0.15 g catalysth/g bio-oil (for bulk catalyst). Three different strategies have been studied in the regeneration step by coke combustion, including the in situ regeneration inside the reactor at 650 °C and 850 °C, and the ex situ regeneration in an external oven at 850 °C, for 4 h in all the cases. The behavior of the fresh and regenerated catalysts has been explained according to their metallic properties, determined by different characterization techniques (temperature programmed reduction (TPR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM)). According to these results, the combustion ex situ of the catalyst at 850 °C is able to completely regenerate the bulk catalyst, since these regeneration conditions lead to the total recovery of the NiAl 2O 4 spinel phase together with negligible loss of Ni on the surface in the catalyst. These novel results are crucial for future industrial implementation of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrogen production
  • Ni-Al spinel
  • Reforming
  • Regeneration


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