A review of biomass-derived fuel processors for fuel cell systems

Jin Xuan, Michael K H Leung, Dennis Y C Leung, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)


Fuel cell coupled with biomass-derived fuel processor can convert renewable energy into a useful form in an environmental-friendly and CO2-neutral manner. It is considered as one of the most promising energy supply systems in the future. Biomass-derived fuels, such as ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, glycerol, and biogas, can be fed to a fuel processor as a raw fuel for reforming by autothermal reforming, steam reforming, partial oxidation, or other reforming methods. Catalysts play an important role in the fuel processor to convert biomass fuels with high hydrogen selectivity. The processor configuration is another crucial factor determining the application and the performance of a biomass fuel processing system. The newly developed monolithic reactor, micro-reactor, and internal reforming technologies have demonstrated that they are robust in converting a wide range of biomass fuels with high efficiency. This paper provides a review of the biomass-derived fuel processing technologies from various perspectives including the feedstock, reforming mechanisms, catalysts, and processor configurations. The research challenges and future development of biomass fuel processor are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301-1313
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass-derived fuel
  • Catalytic reforming
  • Fuel processing
  • Fuel processor-fuel cell system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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