Hydrogen-rich gas production from biomass air and oxygen/steam gasification in a downdraft gasifier

Pengmei Lv, Zhenhong Yuan, Longlong Ma, Chuangzhi Wu, Yong Chen, Jingxu Zhu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

290 Citations (Scopus)


Biomass gasification is an important method to obtain renewable hydrogen. However, this technology still stagnates in a laboratory scale because of its high-energy consumption. In order to get maximum hydrogen yield and decrease energy consumption, this study applies a self-heated downdraft gasifier as the reactor and uses char as the catalyst to study the characteristics of hydrogen production from biomass gasification. Air and oxygen/steam are utilized as the gasifying agents. The experimental results indicate that compared to biomass air gasification, biomass oxygen/steam gasification improves hydrogen yield depending on the volume of downdraft gasifier, and also nearly doubles the heating value of fuel gas. The maximum lower heating value of fuel gas reaches 11.11 MJ/N m3 for biomass oxygen/steam gasification. Over the ranges of operating conditions examined, the maximum hydrogen yield reaches 45.16 g H2/kg biomass. For biomass oxygen/steam gasification, the content of H2 and CO reaches 63.27-72.56%, while the content of H2 and CO gets to 52.19-63.31% for biomass air gasification. The ratio of H2/CO for biomass oxygen/steam gasification reaches 0.70-0.90, which is lower than that of biomass air gasification, 1.06-1.27. The experimental and comparison results prove that biomass oxygen/steam gasification in a downdraft gasifier is an effective, relatively low energy consumption technology for hydrogen-rich gas production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2173-2185
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Air
  • Biomass
  • Downdraft gasifier
  • Hydrogen
  • Oxygen/steam gasification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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