This paper details the characterisation of char obtained by high-temperature pyrolysis of waste macadamia shell biomass and its application as carbon source in iron-carbon alloy production. The obtained char was characterised by ultimate and proximate analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photon spectroscopy (XPS), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area via N2
isothermal adsorption and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results indicated that obtained char is less porous, low in ash content, and high in carbon content. Investigation of iron-carbon alloy formation through carbon dissolution at 1550 °C was carried out using sessile drop method by using obtained char as a carbon source. Rapid carbon pickup by iron was observed during first two minutes of contact and reached a saturation value of ~5.18 wt % of carbon after 30 min. The carbon dissolution rate using macadamia char as a source of carbon was comparatively higher using than other carbonaceous materials such as metallurgical coke, coal chars, and waste compact discs, due to its high percentage of carbon and low ash content. This research shows that macadamia shell waste, which has a low content of ash, is a valuable supplementary carbon source for iron-carbon alloy industries.
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