The technical and economic feasibility of producing specific gas products by the catalytic gasification of biomass is presented in this paper. Active catalysts were developed for generation of synthesis gases from wood by steam gasification. A trimetallic catalyst, Ni-Co-Mo on silica-alumina doped with 2 wt% Na, was found to retain activity indefinitely for generation of a methanol synthesis gas from wood at 750° C (1380° F) and 100 kPa (1 atm) absolute pressure. Potassium carbonate was an effective catalyst for conversion of wood to synthesis gases and methane-rich gas and should be economically viable. Results of development studies at 1000 kPa (10 atm) absolute pressure are presented.

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