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Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties & Production Techniques Zoe Wallage Low Carbon Innovation Centre University of East Anglia.

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Presentation on theme: "Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties & Production Techniques Zoe Wallage Low Carbon Innovation Centre University of East Anglia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties & Production Techniques Zoe Wallage Low Carbon Innovation Centre University of East Anglia

2 Collison & Associates Limited Presentation Outline Introduction & Overview Biochar Production Techniques Biochar Properties & Uses UEA Case Study Summary of Findings UEAs Biomass Gasification CHP Plant

3 Collison & Associates Limited Research Overview Aim: Review the potential for carbon sequestration via biochar & assess the impact this technology may have on regional productivity & sustainability Objectives: Evaluate the technologies available for biochar production Identify the parameters influential to biochar yield & quality Atmospheric Carbon (CO 2) Terrestrial Carbon (SOC)

4 Collison & Associates Limited What is Biochar & Why is it Important? Biochar

5 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Carbon Cycle Lehmann (2007) Nature 447: 143 - 144 Lehmann et al (2006) Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 11: 403 - 427

6 Collison & Associates Limited Thermal Conversion of Biomass Lehmann (2007) Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 5: 381 - 387

7 Collison & Associates Limited Thermal Conversion of Biomass Overall an endothermic process: Energy is required to initiate the process At present the technologies can be split into two distinct categories: Charcoal production Bio oil or syn gas production However, there is potential to move towards a third: Tri-generation that makes use of the biochar, energy-rich co-products (bio oil, syn gas) & heat Bio Oil Biochar Syn Gas Heat without Air Biomass

8 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Production Techniques Temp & Duration Solid (Biochar) Liquid (Bio oil) Gas (Syn Gas) Slow Pyrolysis ~500 C Days 35%30%35% Fast Pyrolysis ~500 C Seconds 12%75%13% Gasification >800 C Hours 10%5%85% CHP GasificationSlow Pyrolysis (retort)Slow pyrolysis (kiln) Fast Pyrolysis

9 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Production Eprida: Hydrogen & Char Fertiliser via Pyrolysis Dynomotive: Bio oil via Fast Pyrolysis BEST Energies: Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis University of Hawaii: Flash Carboniser (Fast Pyrolysis)

10 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties High carbon content (60 – 95% C) Resistant to biodegradation Significant adsorptive qualities (similar to activated carbon) Nutrients (& contaminants) essentially lock on to the structure Increases moisture holding capacity Enhances microbial biomass

11 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties: Process Conditions Enhanced biochar yields from: Lower temperatures (<400 C) Higher pressures Longer vapour residence time Slower heating rate Larger particle size

12 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties: Process Conditions As temperature increases: Biochar yield decreases Fixed carbon increases Surface area increases Ash content increases Temperature Structural Development

13 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties: Feedstock Materials The variable nature of the chemical constituents in the feedstock biomass influence the structure, properties & yield of biochar. Woodchip Rice Husks Roundwood

14 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar Properties: Feedstock Materials Manure Poultry Litter Hardwood Softwood Biodegradable Waste

15 Collison & Associates Limited UEA Case Study: Biomass Gasification CHP

16 Collison & Associates Limited UEA Case Study: Biomass Gasification CHP

17 Collison & Associates Limited Gasification Outputs Biochar

18 Collison & Associates Limited Biochar 3% Biochar Yield 300 t char yr -1 195 t C yr -1 716 t CO 2 yr -1 (4% ) 1.4 MWe 2.0 MWth 6, 719 t CO 2 yr -1 (34%) UEA Case Study...& this particular system is optimised for energy production!

19 Collison & Associates Limited Summary of Findings Biochar is produced by the thermal decomposition of biomass using: Slow Pyrolysis Fast Pyrolysis Gasification Technology must be closed-loop with efficient product recovery Biochar yield & quality varies significantly with feedstock type & process conditions Biomass gasification CHP is currently viable & will produce modest quantities in the near-term Bio Oil Biochar Syn Gas Heat without Air Biomass

20 Collison & Associates Limited So, the future is in our hands… Thank you! Zoe.Wallage@uea.ac.uk 01603 591279


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