Biomass gasification with supercritical water is a sustainable method of hydrogen production. Recent research on this topic is reviewed, demonstrating that this process produces not only hydrogen gas but also a mixture of hydrocarbons, which bind a part of it in the H–C bonds. An innovative process for upgrading the gaseous product while focusing on the most suitable catalysts is proposed.
The gasification of biomass with supercritical water, also known as SCWG, is a sustainable method of hydrogen production. The process produces a mixture of hydrogen, carbon oxides, and hydrocarbons. Upgrading this mixture through steam or dry reforming of hydrocarbons to create synthesis gas and then extra hydrogen is a viable way to increase hydrogen production from biomass. This literature review discusses combining these two processes and recent experimental work on catalytic SCWG of biomass and its model compounds and steam/dry reforming of produced hydrocarbons. It focuses on catalysts used in these processes and their key criteria, such as activity, selectivity towards hydrogen and methane, and ability to inhibit carbon formation and deposition. A new criterion is proposed to evaluate catalyst performance in biomass SCWG and the need for further upgrading via reforming, based on the ratio of hydrogen bound in hydrocarbons to total hydrogen produced during SCWG. The review concludes that most catalysts used in biomass SCWG trap a large proportion of hydrogen in hydrocarbons, necessitating further processing of the product stream.Zum Volltext