Thermodynamic analysis of aqueous phase reforming of three model compounds in bio-oil for hydrogen production

Jianjun Xie, Deren Su, Xiuli Yin, Chuangzhi Wu, Jingxu Zhu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Thermodynamic analysis with Gibbs free energy minimization was performed for aqueous phase reforming of methanol, acetic acid, and ethylene glycol as model compounds for hydrogen production from bio-oil. The effects of the temperature (340-660 K) and pressure ratio Psys/PH2O (0.1-2.0) on the selectivity of H2 and CH4, formation of solid carbon, and conversion of model compounds were analyzed. The influences of CaO and O2 addition on the formation of H2, CH 4, and CO2 in the gas phase and solid phase carbon, CaCO3, and Ca(OH)2 were also investigated. With methanation and carbon formation, the conversion of the model compounds was >99.99% with no carbon formation, and methanation was thermodynamically favored over hydrogen production. H2 selectivity was greatly improved when methanation was suppressed, but most of the inlet model compounds formed solid carbon. After suppressing both methanation and carbon formation, aqueous phase reforming of methanol, acetic acid and ethylene glycol at 500 K and with Psys/PH2O = 1.1 gave H2 selectivity of 74.98%, 66.64% and 71.38%, respectively. These were similar to the maximum stoichiometric hydrogen selectivity of 75.00% (methanol), 66.67% (acetic acid), and 71.43% (ethylene glycol). At 500 K and 2.90 MPa, as the molar ratio of CaO/BMCs increased, the normalized variation in H2 increased and that for CH4 decreased. Formation of solid carbon was effectively suppressed by addition of O2, but this was at the expense of H 2 formation. With the O2/BMCs molar ratio regulated at 1.0, oxidation and CO2 capture increased the normalized variation in H2 to 33.33% (methanol), 50.00% (acetic acid), and 60.00% (ethylene glycol), and the formation of solid carbon decreased to zero.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15561-15572
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous phase reforming
  • Bio-oil
  • Hydrogen production
  • Oxidation
  • Sorption enhanced
  • Thermodynamic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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