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Open AccessArticle

Carbon Sequestration in Support of the “4 per 1000” Initiative Using Compost and Stable Biochar from Hazelnut Shells and Sunflower Husks

1
Institute of Chemical and Energy Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna, Austria
2
Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico, Universidad de Concepción, 4191996 Coronel, Chile
3
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Konrad Lorenz-Str. 24, 3430 Tulln, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(7), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070764
Received: 31 May 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbonaceous Materials for CO2 Capture and Pollutants Removal)
The achievement of carbon neutrality till 2050 will require the deployment of negative carbon emission technologies like the production and soil incorporation of biochar, produced from pyrolyzed plant-based residues. The carbon sequestration potential of biochar (BC) from hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) shells (HNS) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) husks (SFH) was evaluated when the biomass was carbonized in a fixed bed reactor, in a rotary kiln and in a screw reactor. In all tested reactors, higher temperatures (>500 °C) and longer retention times increased the C concentration and stability of the biochar, with negligible effects of the reactor type and feedstock. A national case study was developed for Austria concerning the potential use of SFH- and HNS-BC in combination with compost for reaching the “4 per mille” objective. An annual soil organic carbon increase of 2.5 Mt C would be needed, requiring amendment rates of 2.2 Mt C a−1 for all annual crop areas and 0.3 Mt C a−1 for all vineyards and orchards. If compost only were used, the annual cost would be about 200 EUR ha−1 but short-term re-mineralization would have to be considered. If the more recalcitrant biochar were used only, about 2.3 t BC ha−1 would be needed at a cost of 1400–1870 EUR ha−1. The study shows in principle the feasibility of applying compost–biochar mixtures for achieving the “4 per mille” objective but in practice, supplemental soil management strategies for sequestering C will be required. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon (SOC); pyrolysis; screw reactor; rotary kiln; fixed bed reactor soil organic carbon (SOC); pyrolysis; screw reactor; rotary kiln; fixed bed reactor
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Mikula, K.; Soja, G.; Segura, C.; Berg, A.; Pfeifer, C. Carbon Sequestration in Support of the “4 per 1000” Initiative Using Compost and Stable Biochar from Hazelnut Shells and Sunflower Husks. Processes 2020, 8, 764.

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