In this study, different char based catalysts were evaluated in order to increase hydrogen production from the steam pyrolysis of olive pomace in two stage fixed bed reactor system. Biomass char, nickel loaded biomass char, coal char and nickel or iron loaded coal chars were used as catalyst. Acid washed biomass char was also tested to investigate the effect of inorganics in char on catalytic activity for hydrogen production. Catalysts were characterized by using Brunauer Emmet Teller (BET) method, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyzer, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). The results showed that the steam in absence of catalyst had no influence on hydrogen production. Increase in catalytic bed temperature (from 500 degrees C to 700 degrees C) enhanced hydrogen production in presence of Ni-impregnated and non -impregnated biomass char. Inherent inorganic content of char had great effect on hydrogen production. Ni based biomass char exhibited the highest catalytic activity in terms of hydrogen production. Besides, Ni and Fe based coal char had catalytic activity on H-2 production. On the other hand, the results showed that biomass char was not thermally stable under steam pyrolysis conditions. Weight loss of catalyst during steam pyrolysis could be attributed to steam gasification of biomass char itself. In contrast, properties of coal char based catalysts after steam pyrolysis process remained nearly unchanged, leading to better thermal stability than biomass char. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.