• Report

A review of the literature on catalytic biomass tar destruction


Dayton, D. (2002). A review of the literature on catalytic biomass tar destruction. (NREL Technical Report NREL/TP-510-32815). Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


The objective of this report is to summarize the literature pertaining to catalytic biomass gasification “tar”? destruction, provide an overview of the different catalysts that have been studied and how they have been implemented, and evaluate the future potential of this gas cleaning technology.
Calcined dolomites are the most widely used nonmetallic catalysts for tar conversion in biomass gasification processes. They are relatively inexpensive and are considered disposable; however, they are not very robust and quickly undergo attrition in fluidized bed reactors. Consequently, dolomites find most use in fixed bed catalytic reactors. Tar conversion efficiency is high when calcined dolomites are operated at high temperatures (900ºC) with steam. Olivine, another naturally occurring mineral has also demonstrated tar conversion activity similar to that of calcined dolomite. Olivine is a much more robust material than calcined dolomite and has been applied as a primary catalyst to reduce the output tar levels from fluidized bed biomass gasifiers.