Special Issue "Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Carbon Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Belén Dongil
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry, CSIC, c/Marie Curie No. 2, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: biomass; carbon materials; catalysis; biofuels; biopolymers
Dr. Andreia F. Peixoto
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; catalytic biomass valorization; carbon-based materials; Solid acid catalysts; biofuels; renewable energy; biorefinery processes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The conversion of biomass into energy and chemicals has become a hot topic in research. Although the production of molecules such as alcohol from crops such as corn or sugar cane is an ancient process, more efficient solutions from non-edible sources are required. The processes should aim at using wastes so as to avoid competition with food plant sources that may also contain fertilizers, which can indeed generate more greenhouse gases. In this context, the concept of second and third biorefinery emerges as an alternative solution that should be implemented in the next decades. These biorefineries use lignocellulosic biomass from wastes (e.g., agriculture, municipal, industrial) and can provide a myriad of platform molecules.

The conversion of biomass into energy and chemicals includes several transformations, mostly aiming at reducing the oxygen content. Since lignocellulosic wastes contain a high concentration of water with non-neutral pH, carbon has proven to be one of the best materials due to their chemical resistance. Furthermore, their high surface area and electron conductivity can provide additional benefits. This, along with the possibility of being produced from residual biomass that can potentially reduce the global carbon footprint, makes carbon materials excellent candidates for the conversion of biomass.

Dr. Ana Belén Dongil
Dr. Andreia F. Peixoto
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • carbon materials
  • biofuels
  • biopolymers
  • catalysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Physicochemical and Optical Characterization of Citrus aurantium Derived Biochar for Solar Absorber Applications
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164756 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Agro-industrial waste valorization is an attractive approach that offers new alternatives to deal with shrinkage and residue problems. One of these approaches is the synthesis of advanced carbon materials. Current research has shown that citrus waste, mainly orange peel, can be a precursor [...] Read more.
Agro-industrial waste valorization is an attractive approach that offers new alternatives to deal with shrinkage and residue problems. One of these approaches is the synthesis of advanced carbon materials. Current research has shown that citrus waste, mainly orange peel, can be a precursor for the synthesis of high-quality carbon materials for chemical adsorption and energy storage applications. A recent approach to the utilization of advanced carbon materials based on lignocellulosic biomass is their use in solar absorber coatings for solar-thermal applications. This study focused on the production of biochar from Citrus aurantium orange peel by a pyrolysis process at different temperatures. Biochars were characterized by SEM, elemental analysis, TGA-DSC, FTIR, DRX, Raman, and XPS spectroscopies. Optical properties such as diffuse reflectance in the UV−VIS−NIR region was also determined. Physical-chemical characterization revealed that the pyrolysis temperature had a negative effect in yield of biochars, whereas biochars with a higher carbon content, aromaticity, thermal stability, and structural order were produced as the temperature increased. Diffuse reflectance measurements revealed that it is possible to reduce the reflectance of the material by controlling its pyrolysis temperature, producing a material with physicochemical and optical properties that could be attractive for use as a pigment in solar absorber coatings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion)
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Article
Characterization and Evaluation of Hydrothermal Liquefaction Char from Alkali Lignin in Subcritical Temperatures
Materials 2021, 14(11), 3024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14113024 - 02 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
An evaluation of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) char is investigated in this work. Morphological studies, N2 adsorption behavior, FTIR analysis, thermal behavior, and elemental composition are studied. The HTL char yield showed an increase with higher operating temperatures. It increased from 11.02% to [...] Read more.
An evaluation of hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) char is investigated in this work. Morphological studies, N2 adsorption behavior, FTIR analysis, thermal behavior, and elemental composition are studied. The HTL char yield showed an increase with higher operating temperatures. It increased from 11.02% to 33% when the temperature increased from 573 K to 623 K. At lower temperatures, the residence time showed an impact on the yield, while close to the critical point, residence time became less impactful. Elemental analysis showed that both higher operating temperatures and longer residence times increased the nitrogen content of the chars from 0.32% to 0.51%. FTIR analysis suggested the char became more aromatic with the higher temperatures. The aliphatic groups present diminished drastically with the increasing temperature. Residence time did not show a significant impact as much as the temperature when considering the functional group elimination. An increase in operating temperatures and residence times produced thermally stable chars. HTL char produced at the lowest operating temperature and showed both the highest surface area and pore volume. When temperature and residence time increase, more polyaromatic char is produced due to carbonization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion)
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Article
Impact of Pyrolysis Temperature on the Properties of Eucalyptus Wood-Derived Biochar
Materials 2020, 13(24), 5841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13245841 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Pyrolysis conditions directly influence biochar properties and, consequently, influence the potential use of biochar. In this study, we evaluated the effects of different pyrolysis temperatures (450, 550, 650, 750, 850, and 950 °C) on the hydrogen potential, electrical conductivity, ash content, yield, volatile [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis conditions directly influence biochar properties and, consequently, influence the potential use of biochar. In this study, we evaluated the effects of different pyrolysis temperatures (450, 550, 650, 750, 850, and 950 °C) on the hydrogen potential, electrical conductivity, ash content, yield, volatile matter content, elemental analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy results, X-ray diffraction results, scanning electron microscopy results, specific surface area, and micropore volume of eucalyptus wood-derived biochar. The degree of linear association between pyrolysis temperatures and biochar properties was examined using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The results showed a positive correlation of the pyrolysis temperature with the hydrogen potential value, electrical conductivity, and elemental carbon. There was a negative correlation of the pyrolysis temperature with the yield, volatile matter content, elemental oxygen, elemental hydrogen, surface area, aromaticity, hydrophilicity, and polarity indexes. The Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy data indicated an increase in aromaticity and a decrease in the polarity of high-temperature biochar. The increased pyrolysis temperature caused the loss of cellulose and crystalline mineral components, as indicated by X-ray diffraction analysis and scanning electron microscopy images. These results indicated that changing the pyrolysis temperature enables the production of biochar from the same raw material with a wide range of physicochemical properties, which allows its use in various types of agricultural and environmental activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion)
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Article
Pre-Treatment of Furniture Waste for Smokeless Charcoal Production
Materials 2020, 13(14), 3188; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13143188 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of using furniture waste for smokeless fuel production using the pyrolysis process. Four types of wood-based wastes were used in the pyrolysis process: pine sawdust (PS), chipboard (CB), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and oriented [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of using furniture waste for smokeless fuel production using the pyrolysis process. Four types of wood-based wastes were used in the pyrolysis process: pine sawdust (PS), chipboard (CB), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and oriented strand board (OSB). Additionally, the slow and fast types of pyrolysis were compared, where the heating rates were 15 °C/min and 100 °C/min, respectively. Chemical analyses of the raw materials and the pyrolysis product yields are presented. A significant calorific value rise was observed for the solid pyrolysis products (from approximately 17.5 MJ/kg for raw materials up to approximately 29 MJ/kg for slow pyrolysis products and 31 MJ/kg for fast pyrolysis products). A higher carbon content of char was observed in raw materials (from approximately 48% for raw materials up to approximately 75% for slow pyrolysis products and approximately 82% for fast pyrolysis products) than after the pyrolysis process. This work presents the possibility of utilizing waste furniture material that is mostly composed of wood, but is not commonly used as a substrate for conversion into low-emission fuel. The results prove that the proposed solution produced char characterized by the appropriate properties to be classified as smokeless coal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion)
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Article
Activated Carbon Produced by Pyrolysis of Waste Wood and Straw for Potential Wastewater Adsorption
Materials 2020, 13(9), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13092047 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Pyrolysis of straw pellets and wood strips was performed in a fixed bed reactor. The chars, solid products of thermal degradation, were used as potential materials for activated carbon production. Chemical and physical activation processes were used to compare properties of the products. [...] Read more.
Pyrolysis of straw pellets and wood strips was performed in a fixed bed reactor. The chars, solid products of thermal degradation, were used as potential materials for activated carbon production. Chemical and physical activation processes were used to compare properties of the products. The chemical activation agent KOH was chosen and the physical activation was conducted with steam and carbon dioxide as oxidising gases. The effect of the activation process on the surface area, pore volume, structure and composition of the biochar was examined. The samples with the highest surface area (1349.6 and 1194.4 m2/g for straw and wood activated carbons, respectively) were obtained when the chemical activation with KOH solution was applied. The sample with the highest surface area was used as an adsorbent for model wastewater contamination removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Applied for Biomass Conversion)
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