Steam reforming of pyrolysis oil aqueous fraction obtained by one-step fractional condensation

Ville Paasikallio (Corresponding Author), Johanna Kihlman, Cesar Andres Sanchez Sanchez, Pekka Simell, Yrjö Solantausta, Juha Lehtonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    The aqueous fraction of pyrolysis oil, which was produced and fractionally condensed in VTT's 20 kg/h fast pyrolysis Process Development Unit, was successfully steam reformed in a fixed-bed reactor over a commercial nickel catalyst without any additional steam. As a result of the one-step fractionation process, the aqueous pyrolysis oil, which had a water content of 72.7 wt%, contained only limited amounts of thermally unstable sugar-type compounds that typically hinder the performance of catalytic steam reforming. An average hydrogen yield of 81% was achieved over two hours at relatively mild process conditions: 650 °C, steam-to-carbon ratio of 3.84 and gas hourly space velocity of 5000 h-1. When the reaction temperature was varied between 600 and 750 °C, clear catalyst deactivation was only observed at 600 °C. In theory, by utilizing the one-step fractional condensation scheme and subsequently steam reforming the aqueous pyrolysis oil, sufficient amounts of hydrogen could be generated for significantly deoxygenating the organic pyrolysis oil via catalytic hydrodeoxygenation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3149-3157
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • fast pyrolysis
    • bio-oil
    • steam reforming
    • hydrogen


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