Sequential pyrolysis and catalytic low temperature reforming of wheat straw

Ursel Hornung, David Schneider, Andreas Hornung, Vander Tumiatti, Helmut Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim of the work is the implementation of a low temperature reforming (LT reforming) unit downstream the Haloclean pyrolyser in order to enhance the heating value of the pyrolysis gas. Outside the focus of this work was to gain a synthesis gas quality for further use. Temperatures between 400 °C and 500 °C were applied. A commercial pre-reforming catalyst on a nickel basis from Südchemie was chosen for LT reforming. As biogenic feedstock wheat straw has been used. Pyrolysis of wheat straw at 450 °C by means of Haloclean pyrolysis leads to 28% of char, 50% of condensate and 22% of gas. The condensate separates in a water phase and an organic phase. The organic phase is liquid, but contains viscous compounds. These compounds could underlay aging and could lead to solid tars which can cause post processing problems. Therefore, the implementation of a catalytic reformer is not only of interest from an energetic point of view, it is generally interesting for tar conversion purposes after pyrolysis applications. By using a fixed bed reforming unit at 450–490 °C and space velocities about 3000 l/h the pyrolysis gas volume flow could be increased to about 58%. This corresponds to a decrease of the yields of condensates by means of catalysis up to 17%, the yield of char remains unchanged, since pyrolysis conditions are the same. The heating value in the pyrolysis gas could be increased by the factor of 1.64. Hydrogen concentrations up to 14% could be realised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Issue number1-2
Early online date14 Nov 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Event18th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis - Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Duration: 18 May 200823 May 2008


  • reforming of pyrolysis gas from biomass
  • pre-reforming of pyrolysis gas
  • catalysis
  • tar conversion


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