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Energies 2013, 6(8), 3972-3986; doi:10.3390/en6083972

Effects of Biomass Feedstocks and Gasification Conditions on the Physiochemical Properties of Char

1
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Department, and the Biobased Products and Energy Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
2
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
3
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2013 / Revised: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 6 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels 2013)
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Abstract

Char is a low-value byproduct of biomass gasification and pyrolysis with many potential applications, such as soil amendment and the synthesis of activated carbon and carbon-based catalysts. Considering these high-value applications, char could provide economic benefits to a biorefinery utilizing gasification or pyrolysis technologies. However, the properties of char depend heavily on biomass feedstock, gasifier design and operating conditions. This paper reports the effects of biomass type (switchgrass, sorghum straw and red cedar) and equivalence ratio (0.20, 0.25 and 0.28), i.e., the ratio of air supply relative to the air that is required for stoichiometric combustion of biomass, on the physiochemical properties of char derived from gasification. Results show that the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface areas of most of the char were 1–10 m2/g and increased as the equivalence ratio increased. Char moisture and fixed carbon contents decreased while ash content increased as equivalence ratio increased. The corresponding Fourier Transform Infrared spectra showed that the surface functional groups of char differed between biomass types but remained similar with change in equivalence ratio. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass char; biochar; gasification; fluidized bed; switchgrass; sorghum; eastern red cedar biomass char; biochar; gasification; fluidized bed; switchgrass; sorghum; eastern red cedar
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Qian, K.; Kumar, A.; Patil, K.; Bellmer, D.; Wang, D.; Yuan, W.; Huhnke, R.L. Effects of Biomass Feedstocks and Gasification Conditions on the Physiochemical Properties of Char. Energies 2013, 6, 3972-3986.

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