On the dynamics and reversibility of the deactivation of a Rh/CeO2–ZrO2 catalyst in raw bio-oil steam reforming

Aingeru Remiro*, Aitor Ochoa, Aitor Arandia, Pedro Castaño, Javier Bilbao, Ana G. Gayubo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The deactivation mechanism of a commercial Rh/CeO2–ZrO2 catalyst in raw bio-oil steam reforming has been studied by relating the evolution with time on stream of the bio-oil conversion and products yields and the physicochemical properties of the deactivated catalyst studied by XRD, TPR, SEM, XPS, TPO and TEM. Moreover, the reversibility of the different deactivation causes has been assessed by comparing the behavior and properties of the catalyst fresh and regenerated (by coke combustion with air). The reactions were carried out in an experimental device with two units in series: a thermal treatment unit (at 500 °C, for separation of pyrolytic lignin) and a fluidized bed reactor (at 700 °C, for the reforming reaction). The results evidence that structural changes (support aging involving partial occlusion of Rh species) are irreversible and occur rapidly, being responsible for a first deactivation period, whereas encapsulating coke deposition (with oxygenates as precursors) is reversible and evolves more slowly, thus being the main cause of the second deactivation period. The deactivation selectively affects the reforming of oxygenates, from least to greatest reactivity. Rh sintering is not a significant deactivation cause at the studied temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2620-2632
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 28 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC


  • Bio-oil
  • Deactivation
  • Hydrogen
  • Rh catalyst
  • Steam reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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