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Investigation of Reforming Catalyst Deactivation by Exposure to Fly Ash from Biomass Gasification in Laboratory Scale

ACS Publications
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  • Chemistry


Production of synthesis gas by catalytic reforming of product gas from biomass gasification can lead to catalyst deactivation by the exposure to ash compounds present in the flue gas. The impact of fly ash from biomass gasification on reforming catalysts was studied at the laboratory scale. The investigated catalyst was Pt/Rh based, and it was exposed to generated K2SO4 aerosol particles and to aerosol particles produced from the water-soluble part of biomass fly ash, originating from a commercial biomass combustion plant. The noble metal catalyst was also compared with a commercial Ni-based catalyst, exposed to aerosol particles of the same fashion. To investigate the deactivation by aerosol particles, a flow containing submicrometer-size selected aerosol particles was led through the catalyst bed. The particle size of the poison was measured prior to the catalytic reactor system. Fresh and aerosol particle exposed catalysts were characterized using BET surface area, XRPD (X-ray powder diffraction), and H2 chemisorption. The Pt/Rh catalyst was also investigated for activity in the steam methane reforming reaction. It was found that the method to deposit generated aerosol particles on reforming catalysts could be a useful procedure to investigate the impact of different compounds possibly present in the product gas from the gasifier, acting as potential catalyst poisons. The catalytic deactivation procedure by exposure to aerosol particles is somehow similar to what happens in a real plant, when a catalyst bed is located subsequent to a biomass gasifier or a combustion boiler. Using different environments (oxidizing, reducing, steam present, etc.) in the aerosol generation adds further flexibility to the suggested aerosol deactivation method. It is essential to investigate the deactivating effect at the laboratory scale before a full-scale plant is taken into operation to avoid operational problems.

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