The disposal of food waste (FW) is a major cause of environmental contamination. This study reports an environmentally friendly FW disposal method in the form of catalytic steam gasification using various types of Ni-loaded chars (untreated char, steam-treated char, and ZnCl2-treated char). The results were also compared with the gasification results from the Ni catalysts supported on commercial α-alumina (Ni/α-Al2O3). The Ni/steam-treated char showed the maximum hydrogen generation (0.471 mol/(g feedstock•g cat)) because of the high reducibility, high nickel dispersion, large amount of inherent K and Ca, and moderate surface area. The overall gas and H2 yield were observed in the following order: Ni/steam-treated char > Ni/ZnCl2 treated char > Ni/untreated char > Ni/α-Al2O3. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analysis of various catalysts showed that the treated chars have a mesoporous structure, and the X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy – energy dispersive spectroscopy showed that the presence of silica in the chars providing the stable support for the Ni loading and prevented coke formation. The chars obtained from biomass pretreatment could be a potential solution for preventing coke formation at high temperatures, thereby increasing the gas yield and enhancing hydrogen generation.
- Food waste