Characterisation of Biochar and routes to industrial valorisation (CharNival)

Project: Research

Project Details


Most processes that convert biomass into agricultural soil treatments, liquid fuels and bioplastics begin with pyrolysis. Biochar is the solid by-product from pyrolysis also called “pyrolysis residue” and can be 5-45% the output of a pyrolysis process. Biochar/residue is a porous, largely carbon-based material. It securely stores carbon (for centuries) and has been shown to enhance soil. However, in many commercial processes these residues have contamination which transforms the reuse of these materials and means in most cases it is either landfilled or used for coal substitute and burned.

This project investigates biochar/residue samples collected from partner businesses produced using a range of pyrolysis techniques (at different scales/conditions). The Biochar/residue samples will be characterised to evaluate reuse options which could make pyrolysis much more cost effective and sustainable. This study, therefore, responds to the first grand challenge of the THYME project, i.e. Transforming bio-based waste into new products.

We will use state-of-the-art 3D imaging technique (X-ray computed micro/nano-tomography) to study the porous structure of biochar non-destructively alongside chemical analysis. Our research will provide a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the biochar structure/function capacity. We will propose ways to maximise the valorisation of biochar.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/07/2130/04/22