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Special Issue "Emerging Technologies for the Efficient Utilization of Coal and Biomass"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B3: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2022) | Viewed by 7783
Please submit your paper and select the Journal "Energies" and the Special Issue "Emerging Technologies for the Efficient Utilization of Coal and Biomass" via: https://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload?journal=energies. Please contact the journal editor Adele Min ([email protected]) before submitting.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sihyun Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Clean Fuel Laboratory, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 34129, Korea
Interests: low-rank coal drying; biomass torrefaction; waste to energy; coal–biomass co-firing; gasification; bio-char; CCS (carbon capture and sequestration)
Dr. Jiho Yoo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Clean Fuel Laboratory, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 34129, Korea
Interests: catalysis; carbon-supported catalyst; industrial waste; greenhouse gas
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting submissions to a Special Issue of Energies on the subject area of “Emerging Technologies for the Efficient Utilization of Coal and Biomass". Since COP21 was held in 2015, climate change, mainly associated with greenhouse gas emissions, has become a global issue. Coal is an abundant and cheap fuel, but it is one of the main sources of CO2 emission. However, the use of low-rank coal (LRC) with high moisture content is on the rise, mainly due to the increased demand for electricity in many developing countries. The increased use of LRC with high moisture content emits much more greenhouse gases than expected. Therefore, efficient LRC drying technologies are in demand in order to improve the efficiency of coal-fired power plants and thus to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another practical option is to substitute a part of coal with biomass, which is CO2 neutral. A great deal of effort is ongoing to increase the mixing ratio of biomass in coal–biomass co-firing and co-gasification. This stimulates the utilization of waste materials such as agricultural byproducts, forest residues, and MSW (municipal solid waste). In order to utilize these non-conventional biomass fuels, heat treatment (e.g., torrefaction) to increase the uniformity and calorific value of fuel is typically required. In addition, bio-char that can be produced via torrefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification is excellent for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This Special Issue covers a variety of areas for the efficient use of coal and biomass as below, but not limited to these:

- Low-rank coal drying;

- Biomass pyrolysis;

- Tar reforming;

- Biomass torrefaction;

- Coal-biomass co-firing;

- Coal-biomass co-gasification;

- Waste to energy;

- Coal-biomass briquette;

- Bio-char;

- Value-added materials extracted from coal.

Dr. Sihyun Lee
Dr. Jiho Yoo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • low-rank coal drying
  • biomass torrefaction
  • black pellet
  • coal-biomass co-firing
  • co-gasification
  • bio-char
  • biomass pyrolysis
  • waste to energy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Meranti (Shorea sp.) Biochar Application Method on the Growth of Sengon (Falcataria moluccana) as a Solution of Phosphorus Crisis
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2110; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062110 - 14 Mar 2022
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is a limiting nutrient mined from non-renewable sources. P is needed to stimulate trees growth in a forest plantation. P-fertilizer addition in the tropical forest field causes P-leaching flux to watershed and induces eutrophication. The high C contained in meranti ( [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) is a limiting nutrient mined from non-renewable sources. P is needed to stimulate trees growth in a forest plantation. P-fertilizer addition in the tropical forest field causes P-leaching flux to watershed and induces eutrophication. The high C contained in meranti (Shorea sp.) biochar can avoid the P-leaching process in the soil with a strategic application method. However, the biochar application method is poorly examined. This research aimed to develop a biochar application method to sequestrate P from the environment and examine its effect on the growth of sengon (Falcataria moluccana). Shorea sp. biochar pyrolyzed at 400 °C and 600 °C were added at a dosage of 0 t ha−1, 25 t ha−1, and 50 t ha−1 for six months in the field. The biochar was placed 20 cm under topsoil without soil mixing. This application method significantly increased total P in the soil without any P-fertilizer addition. The results showed that biochar pyrolyzed at 600 °C and a dosage of 25 t ha−1 increased the total P in the soil and CEC by 192.2 mg kg−1 and 25.98 me 100 g−1, respectively. Biochar with a higher pyrolysis temperature increased higher soil pH. In contrast, the higher dosage increased organic-C higher than the lower dosage application. The most significant P-uptake, height, and diameter increments on F.moluccana were achieved using Shorea sp. biochar pyrolyzed at 600 °C with a dosage of 25 t ha−1 by 0.42 mg kg−1, 222 cm, and 2.75 cm, respectively. The total P in the soil positively correlated with the P-uptake of F. moluccana. Furthermore, using the biochar application method P could be absorbed to the biochar layer and desorbed to the topsoil. Consequently, the biochar application method together with P-fertilizer addition could increase the availability of P in the soil and decrease P-leaching to the environment. Full article
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Article
Low-Rank Coal Supported Ni Catalysts for CO2 Methanation
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082040 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
As renewable energy source integration increases, P2G technology that can store surplus renewable power as methane is expected to expand. The development of a CO2 methanation catalyst, one of the core processes of the P2G concept, is being actively conducted. In this [...] Read more.
As renewable energy source integration increases, P2G technology that can store surplus renewable power as methane is expected to expand. The development of a CO2 methanation catalyst, one of the core processes of the P2G concept, is being actively conducted. In this work, low-rank coal (LRC) was used as a catalyst support for CO2 methanation, as it can potentially enhance the diffusion and adsorption behavior by easily controlling the pore structure and composition. It can also improve the process efficiency owing to its simplicity (no pre-reduction step) and high thermal conductivity, compared to conventional metal oxide-supported catalysts. A screening of single metals (Ni, Co, Ru, Rh, and Pd) on LRC was performed, which showed that Ni was the most active. When Ni on the LRC catalyst was doped with a promoter (Ce and Mg), the CO2 conversion percentage increased by >10% compared to that of the single Ni catalyst. When the CO2 methanation activity was compared at 250–500 °C, the Ce-doped Ni/Eco and Mg-doped Ni/Eco catalysts showed similar or better activity than the commercial metal oxide-supported catalyst. In addition, the catalytic performance remained stable even after the test for an extended time (~200 h). The results of XRD, TEM, and TPR showed that highly efficient LRC-based CO2 methanation catalysts can be made when the metal dispersion and composition are modified. Full article
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Article
Conversion of Slaughterhouse Wastes to Solid Fuel Using Hydrothermal Carbonization
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1768; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061768 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
In this study, cattle and pig slaughterhouse wastes (SHWs) were hydrothermally carbonized at 150–300 °C, and the properties of SHW-derived hydrochar were evaluated for its use as a solid fuel. The results demonstrated that increasing the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) treatment temperature improved the [...] Read more.
In this study, cattle and pig slaughterhouse wastes (SHWs) were hydrothermally carbonized at 150–300 °C, and the properties of SHW-derived hydrochar were evaluated for its use as a solid fuel. The results demonstrated that increasing the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) treatment temperature improved the energy-related properties (i.e., fuel ratio, higher heating value, and coalification degree) of both the cattle and pig SHW-derived hydrochars. However, the improvements of cattle SHW-derived hydrochars were not as dramatic as that of pig SHW-derived hydrochars, due to the lipid-rich components that do not participate in the HTC reaction. In this regard, there was no merit of using HTC treatment on cattle SHW for the production of hydrochar or using the hydrochar as a solid fuel in terms of energy retention efficiency. On the other hand, a mild HTC treatment at approximately 200 °C was deemed suitable for converting pig SHW to value-added solid fuel. The findings of this study suggest that the conversion of SHWs to hydrochar using HTC can provide an environmentally benign method for waste treatment and energy recovery from abandoned biomass. However, the efficiency of energy recovery varies depending on the chemical composition of the raw feedstock. Full article
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Article
Comparative Investigation of Yield and Quality of Bio-Oil and Biochar from Pyrolysis of Woody and Non-Woody Biomasses
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041092 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
This study investigated the quantitative and qualitative attributes of liquid product and biochar obtained from pyrolysis of woody biomass (rubberwood sawdust (RWS)) and non-woody biomasses (oil palm trunk (OPT) and oil palm fronds (OPF)). The prepared biomass was pyrolyzed at temperatures of 500 [...] Read more.
This study investigated the quantitative and qualitative attributes of liquid product and biochar obtained from pyrolysis of woody biomass (rubberwood sawdust (RWS)) and non-woody biomasses (oil palm trunk (OPT) and oil palm fronds (OPF)). The prepared biomass was pyrolyzed at temperatures of 500 °C, 550 °C, and 600 °C by using an agitated bed pyrolysis reactor, and then the yields and characteristics of liquid product and biochar were determined. The results showed that liquid product and biochar yields were in the respective ranges of 35.94–54.40% and 23.46–25.98% (wt.). Pyrolysis of RWS at 550 °C provided the highest liquid yield. The energy content of the water free liquid product was in the range 12.19–22.32 MJ/kg. The liquid product had a low pH and it mainly contained phenol groups as indicated by GC-MS. The biochars had high carbon contents (75.07–82.02%), while their oxygen contents were low (14.22–22%). The higher heating value (HHV) of biochar was in the range 26.42–29.33 MJ/kg. XRF analysis revealed that inorganic elements had higher contents in biochar than in the original biomass. The slagging and fouling indexes of biochar were also different from those of the biomass. High carbon content of the biochar confirms potential for its use in carbon sequestration. The specific surface of biochar was lower than that of biomass, while the average pore diameter of biochar was larger than for raw biomass as revealed by BET and SEM. These results on liquid product and biochar obtained from RWS, OPT, and OPF demonstrate that they are promising feedstocks for biofuels and other value-added products. Full article
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Article
Research and Development of Natural Vegetable Insulating Oil Based on Jatropha curcas Seed Oil
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4319; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174319 - 20 Aug 2020
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Jatropha curcas is a natural non-food resource with high oil-content seeds, that has attracted worldwide attention as it is an ideal renewable resource for the production of biofuels. With the increasing use of vegetable insulating oil in related industries, it is valuable to [...] Read more.
Jatropha curcas is a natural non-food resource with high oil-content seeds, that has attracted worldwide attention as it is an ideal renewable resource for the production of biofuels. With the increasing use of vegetable insulating oil in related industries, it is valuable to develop the vegetable insulating oils from Jatropha curcas seed oil. This study explores how to use Jatropha curcas seed oil to prepare high-quality natural vegetable insulating oil. A six-step process is first established according to the optimization results of alkali refining, activated clay treatment and alumina treatment of Jatropha curcas seed oil, combined with cold treatment, water washing and high temperature decompression treatment. Physicochemical and electrical performance tests show that most of the properties of the prepared vegetable insulating oil are significantly improved compared with the original seed oil, and meet the standard requirements for vegetable insulating oil, especially with no sulfur corrosion, a breakdown voltage of 72 kV and an acid value (KOH, potassium hydroxide) of 0.012 mg/g. Full article
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Article
Characteristics of Miscanthus Fuel by Wet Torrefaction on Fuel Upgrading and Gas Emission Behavior
Energies 2020, 13(10), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102669 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Biomass is a solid fuel that can be used instead of coal to address the issue of greenhouse gases. Currently, biomass is used directly in combustion or via co-combustion in coal-fired power plants. However, its use is limited due to calorific value and [...] Read more.
Biomass is a solid fuel that can be used instead of coal to address the issue of greenhouse gases. Currently, biomass is used directly in combustion or via co-combustion in coal-fired power plants. However, its use is limited due to calorific value and ash problems. In this study, wet torrefaction (WT) was carried out at various temperatures (160 °C, 180 °C, and 200 °C) and the properties of the product were evaluated. In comparison to dry torrefaction, the ash contained in biomass was extracted by an acidic solution (i.e., acetic acid) from the overreaction of the biomass. From examining the ash content of the treated WT, it was confirmed that K2O of basic ash was mainly extracted. In particular, in the case of K2O, since the main cause of combustion problems are issues such as fouling and slagging, the removed WT can be stably combusted in the boiler. Finally, the combustion and emission behaviors were evaluated by TGA-DTG and TGA-FTIR. As the fuel-N was decreased in the WT proess, the NOx in the emission gas after combustion was lower than that of raw miscanthus, and SO2 showed a similar value. As a result, it was confirmed that the WT sample is an advanced fuel in terms of fuel upgrading, alkali minerals, and NOx emission compared to raw miscanthus. Full article
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Review

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Review
Methods of Increasing Miscanthus Biomass Yield for Biofuel Production
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8368; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248368 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
The lignocellulosic perennial crop miscanthus, especially Miscanthus × giganteus, is particularly interesting for bioenergy production as it combines high biomass production with low environmental impact. However, there are several varieties that pose a hazard due to susceptibility to disease. This review contains [...] Read more.
The lignocellulosic perennial crop miscanthus, especially Miscanthus × giganteus, is particularly interesting for bioenergy production as it combines high biomass production with low environmental impact. However, there are several varieties that pose a hazard due to susceptibility to disease. This review contains links showing genotype and ecological variability of important characteristics related to yield and biomass composition of miscanthus that may be useful in plant breeding programs to increase bioenergy production. Some clones of Miscanthus × giganteus and Miscanthus sinensis are particularly interesting due to their high biomass production per hectare. Although the compositional requirements for industrial biomass have not been fully defined for the various bioenergy conversion processes, the lignin-rich species Miscanthus × giganteus and Miscanthus sacchariflorus seem to be more suitable for thermochemical conversion processes. At the same time, the species Miscanthus sinensis and some clones of Miscanthus × giganteus with low lignin content are of interest for the biochemical transformation process. The species Miscanthus sacchariflorus is suitable for various bioenergy conversion processes due to its low ash content, so this species is also interesting as a pioneer in breeding programs. Mature miscanthus crops harvested in winter are favored by industrial enterprises to improve efficiency and reduce processing costs. This study can be attributed to other monocotyledonous plants and perennial crops that can be used as feedstock for biofuels. Full article
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Review
Valorization of Indonesian Wood Wastes through Pyrolysis: A Review
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051407 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
The wood processing industry produces a significant amount of wood waste. Biomass valorization through pyrolysis has the potential to increase the added value of wood wastes. Pyrolysis is an important thermochemical process that can produce solid, liquid, and gas products. This paper aims [...] Read more.
The wood processing industry produces a significant amount of wood waste. Biomass valorization through pyrolysis has the potential to increase the added value of wood wastes. Pyrolysis is an important thermochemical process that can produce solid, liquid, and gas products. This paper aims to review the pyrolysis of wood wastes from Indonesia, including teak wood (Tectona grandis), meranti (Shorea sp.), sengon (Paraserianthes falcataria (L) Nielsen), and rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis). The review is based on an in-depth study of reliable literatures, statistical data from government agencies, and direct field observations. The results showed that pyrolysis could be a suitable process to increase the added value of wood waste. Currently, slow pyrolysis is the most feasible for Indonesia, with the main product of charcoal. The efficiency of the slow pyrolysis process can be increased by harvesting also liquid and gaseous products. The use of the main product of pyrolysis in the form of charcoal needs to be developed and diversified. Charcoal is not only used for fuel purposes but also as a potential soil improvement agent. Full article
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