Regeneration of NiAl2O4 spinel type catalysts used in the reforming of raw bio-oil

Aingeru Remiro*, Aitor Arandia, Lide Oar-Arteta, Javier Bilbao, Ana G. Gayubo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
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The regenerability of Ni catalysts in reforming reactions is a key factor for process viability. Accordingly, this study addresses the regeneration of two spinel NiAl2O4 type catalysts by reaction-regeneration cycles in the oxidative steam reforming (OSR) of raw bio-oil. The spinel type catalysts were prepared by different methods including a supported Ni/La2O3-αAl2O3 catalyst and a bulk NiAl2O4 catalyst. The experimental set-up consists of two units connected in series for i) the thermal treatment of bio-oil at 500 °C, in order to control the deposition of pyrolytic lignin, followed by; ii) the oxidative steam reforming (OSR) of the remaining oxygenates in a fluidized bed catalytic reactor. The conditions in the OSR reaction step were: 700 °C; oxygen/steam/carbon ratio (O/S/C), 0.34/6/1; space time, 0.75 gcatalysth/gbio-oil (for supported catalyst) and 0.15 gcatalysth/gbio-oil (for bulk catalyst). Three different strategies have been studied in the regeneration step by coke combustion, including the in situ regeneration inside the reactor at 650 °C and 850 °C, and the ex situ regeneration in an external oven at 850 °C, for 4 h in all the cases. The behavior of the fresh and regenerated catalysts has been explained according to their metallic properties, determined by different characterization techniques (temperature programmed reduction (TPR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM)). According to these results, the combustion ex situ of the catalyst at 850 °C is able to completely regenerate the bulk catalyst, since these regeneration conditions lead to the total recovery of the NiAl2O4 spinel phase together with negligible loss of Ni on the surface in the catalyst. These novel results are crucial for future industrial implementation of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrogen production
  • Ni-Al spinel
  • Reforming
  • Regeneration


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