Abstract Fe 2O 3/γ–Al 2O 3 catalyst is prepared by incipient wetness impregnation. The catalyst is characterized by temperature programmed reduction (TPR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The catalytic activity of Fe 2O 3/γ–Al 2O 3 catalysts is evaluated via the experimental study on the catalytic cracking of rice husk to produce hydrogen in a self made biomass continuous pyrolysis system. The results show that the reaction activities of the catalysts are greatly influenced by the calcinations temperature for catalyst, the secondary catalytic pyrolysis temperature and the mass ratio of Fe to Al. When the calcinations temperature is 550 °C, the pyrolysis temperature is 500 °C, the secondary catalytic pyrolysis temperature is 700 °C, and the Fe to Al mass ratio is 0.07, the experimental results indicate that Fe 2O 3/γ–Al 2O 3 catalyst could fully convert the volatile matters from biomass pyrolysis into small molecular gases such as H 2, CH 4, CO, CO 2, C 2H 4 and C 2H 6. Meanwhile, the catalyst has shown fine catalytic activity and stability as well as good resistance to coke deposition.