Upgrading biochar into activated carbon materials through physical activation

Presented by Polin actually June 2013

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Fast pyrolysis involves the thermochemical conversion of biomass at 400° – 600°C that results in three main products: bio-oil, syngas, and biochar. Flue gas and fast pyrolysis syngas atmospheres are investigated as physical activating agents to further upgrade the biochar into activated carbon. Activated carbon, as a value-added product, significantly increases the overall economic potential of thermochemical conversion pathways for producing renewable transportation fuels. Upgraded biochar materials have similar porosity characteristics and BET specific surface area comparable to conventional activated carbon currently used for potable water purification. Because flue gas and syngas are readily available, they represent low cost alternatives compared to traditional chemical activating agents: NaOH, KOH, or ZnCl2. Furthermore, upgrading of biochar with syngas or flue gas simultaneously improves the efficiency of pyrolysis biorefinery platform by utilizing multiple process streams.