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What is it?

Biogas is mixed with steam in the presence of a catalyst at high temperatures (~750°C) and moderate pressure to produce syngas. Biogas is obtained via the anaerobic digestion of biomass; therefore, this method is considered a composite of biological hydrogen production and biomass conversion.

Why is it important?

Biomass is plentiful, regenerative and removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making this process carbon neutral. Coupling the process with CCUS has the potential to make it carbon negative.


  • Inputs: Water, heat, biogas
  • By-products: CO2
  • Operating temperature: ~750°C


  • Makes use of biogas obtained from biomass
  • Makes use of similar reforming process as with steam methane reforming
  • Zero-to-low carbon emissions


  • Operation of steam methane reforming systems to reform biogas is inefficient at small scale
  • Note: The TRL for this method varies depending on process

RD&D priorities

  • Develop CCUS technologies
  • Improve anaerobic digestion process
  • Develop methane/CO2 separation technologies
  • Optimise operating parameters such as catalyst characteristics, temperature, throughput and concentration
  • Improve reactor and process design for greater energy efficiency
  • Integrate renewable energy sources. For example, concentrated solar power can act as a thermal energy source for the process

Known active organisations

  • Macquarie University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • The University of Newcastle

Other opportunities like this

  • Biogas is reacted with steam and/or CO2 in a non-thermal plasma reactor integrating with a suitable catalyst to produce hydrogen rich syngas and/or liquid short chain oxygenates (e.g. MeOH).

  • Gasification and pyrolysis processes are supported by thermal (gasification) or non-thermal (pyrolysis) plasma, which either provide energy or induce catalytic decomposition reactions for conversion of biomass or municipal waste into hydrogen and other hydrocarbons as value-added chemical materials.

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