University of Oulu

Phounglamcheik, A., Wang, L., Romar, H., Kienzl, N., Broström, M., Ramser, K., Skreiberg, Ø., Umeki, K. (2020) The Effects of Pyrolysis Conditions and Feedstocks on the Properties and Gasification Reactivity of Charcoal from Woodchips. Energy & Fuels, 2020, 34, 7, 8353–8365,

The effects of pyrolysis conditions and feedstocks on the properties and gasification reactivity of charcoal from woodchips

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Author: Phounglamcheik, Aekjuthon1; Wang, Liang2; Romar, Henrik3;
Organizations: 1Luleå University of Technology, Division of Energy Science, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
2SINTEF Energy Research, P.O. Box 4761 Torgarden, NO-7465 Trondheim, Norway
3Oulu University, Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, P.O. Box 3000, Oulu, Finland
4BEST - Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH, Inffeldgasse 21b, 8010, Graz, Austria
5Umeå University, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
6Luleå University of Technology, Division of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
7Luleå University of Technology, Division of Energy Science, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden Luleå, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Chemical Society, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-12


Pyrolysis conditions in charcoal production affect yields, properties, and further use of charcoal. Reactivity is a critical property when using charcoal as an alternative to fossil coal and coke, as fuel or reductant, in different industrial processes. This work aimed to obtain a holistic understanding of the effects of pyrolysis conditions on the reactivity of charcoal. Notably, this study focuses on the complex effects that appear when producing charcoal from large biomass particles in comparison with the literature on pulverized biomass. Charcoals were produced from woodchips under a variety of pyrolysis conditions (heating rate, temperature, reaction gas, type of biomass, and bio-oil embedding). Gasification reactivity of produced charcoal was determined through a thermogravimetric analysis at an isothermal condition of 850 °C and 20% of CO₂. The charcoals were characterized for the elemental composition, specific surface area, pore volume and distribution, Raman spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The analysis results were used to elucidate the relationship between the pyrolysis conditions and the reactivity. Heating rate and temperature were the most influential pyrolysis parameters affecting charcoal reactivity, followed by reaction gas and bio-oil embedding. The effects of these pyrolysis conditions on charcoal reactivity could primarily be explained by the difference in meso- and macropore volume, and the size and structure order of aromatic clusters. The lower reactivity of slow pyrolysis charcoals also coincided with its lower catalytic inorganic content. The reactivity difference between spruce and birch charcoals appears to be mainly caused by the difference in catalytically active inorganic elements. Contrary to pyrolysis of pulverized biomass, low heating rate produced higher specific surface area compared with high heating rate. Furthermore, the porous structure and the reactivity of charcoal produced from woodchips were influenced when the secondary char formation was promoted, which cannot be observed in pyrolysis of pulverized biomass.

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Series: Energy & fuels
ISSN: 0887-0624
ISSN-E: 1520-5029
ISSN-L: 0887-0624
Volume: 34
Issue: 7
Pages: 8353 - 8365
DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.0c00592
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Funding: The authors acknowledge the financial support of Interreg Nord and Norrbotten County Board through the RENEPRO project (20200224), European Regional Development Fund, Region Norrbotten, and Region Västerbotten through the Bio4Metal project (20200585), Swedish National Strategic Research Environment, Bio4Energy, Swedish Centre for Biomass Gasification, the Kempe Foundation and the Swedish Energy Agency (P46974-1). The Norwegian authors acknowledge the financial support from the BioCarbUp project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway and industrial partners. In addition, the authors would like to offer their special thanks to Dr. Albert Bach-Oller and Mr. Ali Hedayati for discussion on the catalytic activity of inorganic species.
Copyright information: © 2020 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,provided the author and source are cited.