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Factor effects and interactions in steam reforming of biomass bio-oil

Joshua O. Ighalo and Adewale George Adeniyi

Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria



Received: 1 August 2019  Accepted: 12 November 2019


One of the current methods of converting pyrolysis oil and its aqueous phase into more useful biofuels with higher heating value is by the steam reforming technique. In this study, a thermodynamic model for the steam reforming of the aqueous phase of biomass bio-oil was developed. The optimal values of the process parameters for the steam reforming of the aqueous phase of biomass bio-oil are reforming temperature of 773 °C, reforming pressure of 1 atm and steam-to-oil ratio of 20 kg/kg. The synthesis gas obtained at optimal conditions has a hydrogen gas content of 76%, carbon dioxide content of 22%, carbon monoxide content of 2% and only trace quantities of methane. For a theoretical feed of 100 kg/h bio-oil, a water flow rate of 2000 kg/h will be required. Simulation showed that overall gas yield under such feed rate at optimal conditions will generate 131.3 kg/h synthesis gas (with 76% H2 content) and 1968.7 kg/h of condensate water. The interaction of the factors with regard to all chemical species was also extensively investigated.

Keywords: Interactions; Bio-oil; Steam reforming; Hydrogen; Biomass; Thermodynamics

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-00996-3


Chemical Papers 74 (5) 1459–1470 (2020)

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