The cracking removal of tar component in high-temperature fuel gas cleanup is one of the most crucial problems in developing cleanest advanced power technology. Five catalysts were evaluated to tar component removal from high-temperature fuel gas in a fixed-bed reactor. 1-Methylnaphthalene was chosen as a model of tar component. The Y-zeolite and NiMo catalysts were found to be the most effective catalysts. Two catalysts almost removed 100% tar component at 550 degreesC. The process variables, temperature and space velocity, have very significant effects on tar component removal with catalysts. The long-term durability shows that two catalysts maintain more than 95% removal conversion at 550 degreesC in 168 h. The combustion study of coke deposited on catalysts by thermal gravimetric analysis technology shows that very small amount buildup of coke appears on two catalysts surface. Using a first-order kinetic model, the apparent energies of activation and pre-exponential factors for tar component removal reaction and coke combustion on catalysts were obtained for the most active catalysts. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.