Special Issue "New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jorge Bedia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: carbon materials; MOFs; adsorption; photocatalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Carolina Belver
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: chemical engineering; materials science; adsorption; photocatalysis; seminconductors; MOFs
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carbon-based materials, such as chars, activated carbons, one-dimensional carbon nanotubes, and two-dimensional graphene nanosheets, have shown great potential for a wide variety of applications. These materials can be synthesized from any precursor with a high proportion of carbon in its composition. Although fossil fuels have been extensively used as precursors, their unstable cost and supply have led to the synthesis of carbon materials from biomass. Biomass covers all forms of organic material, including plants both living and in waste form, and animal waste products. It appears to be a renewable resource because it yields value-added products prepared using environmentally-friendly processes. The application of these biomass-derived carbon materials include electronic, electromagnetic, electrochemical, environmental and biomedical applications. Thus, novel carbon materials from biomass are a subject of intense research, with strong relevance to both science and technology. The main aim of this Special Issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417) is to present the most relevant and recent insights in the field of the synthesis of biomass-derived carbons for sustainable applications, including adsorption, catalysis and/or energy storage applications. Some of the key topics relevant to this Special Issue are:

  • Synthesis and applications of hydrochars from the hydrothermal carbonization of biomass.
  • Preparation and characterization of biomass-derived activated carbons for adsorption processes with special attention to the removal of emerging contaminants and heavy metals.
  • Synthesis of carbon-based materials from biomass as bulk catalysts or supports for catalysis or photocatalysis.
  • Energy storage in carbon materials obtained from biomass.
  • Biomass-derived carbons for batteries.
  • Porous carbons materials obtained from biomass for carbon dioxide capture. 

We look forward to your submission. 

Prof. Jorge Bedia
Prof. Carolina Belver
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 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

  • Carbon
  • Biomass
  • Adsorption
  • Catalysis
  • Photocatalysis
  • CO2 capture
  • Energy storage
  • Batteries

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Special Issue on New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2453; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11062453 - 10 Mar 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Carbon-based materials, such as chars, activated carbons, one-dimensional carbon nanotubes, and two-dimensional graphene nanosheets, have shown great potential for a wide variety of applications [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)

Research

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Article
Sewage Sludge Hydrochar: An Option for Removal of Methylene Blue from Wastewater
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3445; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10103445 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1749
Abstract
Municipal sewage sludge was subjected to a hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process for developing a hydrochar with high adsorption capacity for water remediation in terms of dye removal. Three hydrochars were produced from municipal sewage sludge by performing HTC at 190, 220 and 250 [...] Read more.
Municipal sewage sludge was subjected to a hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process for developing a hydrochar with high adsorption capacity for water remediation in terms of dye removal. Three hydrochars were produced from municipal sewage sludge by performing HTC at 190, 220 and 250 °C, with a 3 h reaction time. Moreover, a portion of each hydrochar was subjected to a post-treatment with KOH in order to increase the adsorption capacity. Physicochemical properties of sludge samples, raw hydrochars and KOH-modified hydrochars were measured and batch adsorption studies were performed using methylene blue (MB) as a reference dye. Data revealed that both raw and modified hydrochars reached good MB removal efficiency for solutions with low MB concentrations; on the contrary, MB in high concentration solutions was efficiently removed only by modified hydrochars. Interestingly, the KOH treatment greatly improved the MB adsorption rate; the modified hydrochars were capable of capturing above 95% of the initial MB amount in less than 15 min. The physicochemical characterization indicates that alkali modification caused a change in the hydrochar surface making it more chemically homogeneous, which is particularly evident for the 250 °C hydrochar. Thus, the adsorption process can be regarded as a complex result of various phenomena, including physi- and chemi-sorption, acid–base and redox equilibria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Low-Cost Biochar Adsorbents for Water Purification Including Microplastics Removal
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 788; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10030788 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3953
Abstract
The applicability of steam activated pine and spruce bark biochar for storm water and wastewater purification has been investigated. Biochar samples produced from the bark of scots pine (Pinus sylvestrus) and spruce (Picea spp.) by conventional slow pyrolysis at 475 [...] Read more.
The applicability of steam activated pine and spruce bark biochar for storm water and wastewater purification has been investigated. Biochar samples produced from the bark of scots pine (Pinus sylvestrus) and spruce (Picea spp.) by conventional slow pyrolysis at 475 °C were steam activated at 800 °C. Steam activation was selected as a relatively inexpensive method for creating porous biochar adsorbents from the bark-containing sidestreams of the wood refining industry. A suite of standard analytical procedures were carried out to quantify the performance of the activated biochar in removing both cations and residual organics from aqueous media. Phenol and microplastics retention and cation exchange capacity were employed as key test parameters. Despite relatively low surface areas (200–600 m2/g), the steam-activated biochars were highly suitable adsorbents for the chemical species tested as well as for microplastics removal. The results indicate that ultra-high porosities are not necessary for satisfactory water purification, supporting the economic feasibility of bio-based adsorbent production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Adsorption Performance of Physically Activated Biochars for Postcombustion CO2 Capture from Dry and Humid Flue Gas
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app10010376 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
In the present study, the performance of four biomass-derived physically activated biochars for dynamic CO2 capture was assessed. Biochars were first produced from vine shoots and wheat straw pellets through slow pyrolysis (at pressures of 0.1 and 0.5 MPa) and then activated [...] Read more.
In the present study, the performance of four biomass-derived physically activated biochars for dynamic CO2 capture was assessed. Biochars were first produced from vine shoots and wheat straw pellets through slow pyrolysis (at pressures of 0.1 and 0.5 MPa) and then activated with CO2 (at 0.1 MPa and 800 °C) up to different degrees of burn-off. Cyclic adsorption-desorption measurements were conducted under both dry and humid conditions using a packed-bed of adsorbent at relatively short residence times of the gas phase (12–13 s). The adsorbent prepared from the vine shoots-derived biochar obtained by atmospheric pyrolysis, which showed the most hierarchical pore size distribution, exhibited a good and stable performance under dry conditions and at an adsorption temperature of 50 °C, due to the enhanced CO2 adsorption and desorption rates. However, the presence of relatively high concentrations of water vapor in the feeding gas clearly interfered with the CO2 adsorption mechanism, leading to significantly shorter breakthrough times. In this case, the highest percentages of a used bed were achieved by one of the other activated biochars tested, which was prepared from the wheat straw-derived biochar obtained by pressurized pyrolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Potential for Developing Biocarbon Briquettes for Foundry Industry
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9245288 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
The foundry industry is currently facing challenges to reduce the environmental impacts from application of fossil fuels. Replacing foundry coke with alternative renewable carbon sources can lead to significant decrease in fossil fuel consumption and fossil CO2 emission. The low bulk density, [...] Read more.
The foundry industry is currently facing challenges to reduce the environmental impacts from application of fossil fuels. Replacing foundry coke with alternative renewable carbon sources can lead to significant decrease in fossil fuel consumption and fossil CO2 emission. The low bulk density, low energy density, low mechanical strength and the high reactivity of biocarbon materials are the main factors limiting their efficient implementation in a cupola furnace. The current study aimed at designing, optimizing and developing briquettes containing biocarbon, namely, biocarbon briquettes for an efficient use in cupola furnace. Laboratory hydraulic press with compaction pressure of about 160 MPa and stainless-steel moulds (Ø = 40 mm and 70 mm) were used for compaction. The density, heating value, energy density, mechanical strength and reactivity of biocarbon briquettes were measured and evaluated. The compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of biocarbon briquettes were measured by a compression device. The reactivity of biocarbon briquettes was measured under controlled conditions of temperature and gas atmosphere using the thermogravimetric analysis technique (TGA). Different types of binders were tested for the compaction of commercial charcoal fines with/without contribution of coke breeze. The effect of charcoal ratio, particle size, binder type, binder ratio, moisture content and compaction pressure on the quality of the biocarbon briquettes was investigated. Molasses with hydrated lime and cement were superior in enhancing the biocarbon briquettes strength and energy density among other tested binders and additives. The briquettes’ strength decreased as the biocarbon content increased. The optimum recipes consisted of 62% charcoal fines, 20% molasses, 10% hydrated lime and 8% cement. Cement is necessary to develop the tensile strength and hot mechanical strength of the briquettes. The charcoal with high ash content showed higher strength of briquettes but lower heating value compared to that with low ash content. Dispersion of silica suspension on charcoal particles during the mixing process was able to reduce the reactivity of biochar in the developed biocarbon briquettes. The biocarbon briquettes density and strength were increased by increasing the compaction pressure. Commercial powder hydrated lime was more effective in enhancing the briquettes’ strength compared to slaked burnt lime. Upscaling of biocarbon briquettes (Ø = 70 mm) and testing of hot mechanical strength under load indicated development of cracks which significantly reduced the strength of briquettes. Further development of biocarbon briquettes is needed to fulfil the requirements of a cupola furnace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Low-Cost Activated Grape Seed-Derived Hydrochar through Hydrothermal Carbonization and Chemical Activation for Sulfamethoxazole Adsorption
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(23), 5127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9235127 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Activated carbons were prepared by chemical activation with KOH, FeCl3 and H3PO4 of the chars obtained via hydrothermal carbonization of grape seeds. The hydrochars prepared at temperatures higher than 200 °C yielded quite similar proximate and ultimate analyses. However, [...] Read more.
Activated carbons were prepared by chemical activation with KOH, FeCl3 and H3PO4 of the chars obtained via hydrothermal carbonization of grape seeds. The hydrochars prepared at temperatures higher than 200 °C yielded quite similar proximate and ultimate analyses. However, heating value (24.5–31.4 MJ·kg−1) and energy density (1.04–1.33) significantly increased with carbonization temperatures between 180 and 300 °C. All the hydrochars showed negligible BET surface areas, while values between 100 and 845 m2·g−1 were measured by CO2 adsorption at 273 K. Activation of the hydrochars with KOH (activating agent to hydrochar ratio of 3:1 and 750 °C) led to highly porous carbons with around 2200 m2·g−1 BET surface area. Significantly lower values were obtained with FeCl3 (321–417 m2·g−1) and H3PO4 (590–654 m2·g−1), showing these last activated carbons important contributors to mesopores. The resulting materials were tested in the adsorption of sulfamethoxazole from aqueous solution. The adsorption capacity was determined by the porous texture rather than by the surface composition, and analyzed by FTIR and TPD. The adsorption equilibrium data (20 °C) fitted the Langmuir equation well. The KOH-activated carbons yielded fairly high saturation capacity reaching up to 650 mg·g−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Mixed Hardwood and Sugarcane Bagasse Biochar as Potting Mix Components for Container Tomato and Basil Seedling Production
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4713; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9214713 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
To investigate the potential of biochar as a propagation mix component, three experiments were conducted. A phytotoxicity test was conducted with water extract of sugarcane bagasse biochar (SBB), SBB mixes (10%, 30%, 50%, and 70% SBB with 30% perlite (P) and the rest [...] Read more.
To investigate the potential of biochar as a propagation mix component, three experiments were conducted. A phytotoxicity test was conducted with water extract of sugarcane bagasse biochar (SBB), SBB mixes (10%, 30%, 50%, and 70% SBB with 30% perlite (P) and the rest being peat moss (PM); by vol.), mixed hardwood biochar (HB) mixes (10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100% HB with PM; by vol.), PM, P, 70%PM:30%P, and a commercial propagation mix (exp. 1). None of the mixes caused phytotoxicity. The same biochar mixes (except 100% HB) were used for the seedling growth test (exp. 2). Both tomato and basil seedlings grown in all of the biochar mixes (except 50% HB) had significantly lower fresh weight, dry weight and growth index (GI) compared to a commercial propagation mix. Six seedlings from each biochar mix were transplanted into a commercial growing mix and grown for four weeks (exp. 3). Tomato seedlings from all biochar mixes (except 30% SBB) had similar SPAD (Soil-Plant Analyses Development) and GI to the control. Basil seedlings from all HB mixes, 70% and 100% SBB mixes had similar GI to the control. In conclusion, 70% HB could be amended with PM for tomato and basil seedling production without negative effects on plant biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Zinc Adsorption by Activated Carbon Prepared from Lignocellulosic Waste Biomass
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4583; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9214583 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
Sawdust was used as a precursor for the production of biomass-based activated carbon. Carbonization and activation are single-stage processes, and steam was used as a physical activation agent at 800 °C. The adsorption capacity towards zinc was tested, and the produced activated carbon [...] Read more.
Sawdust was used as a precursor for the production of biomass-based activated carbon. Carbonization and activation are single-stage processes, and steam was used as a physical activation agent at 800 °C. The adsorption capacity towards zinc was tested, and the produced activated carbon proved effective and selectively adsorbent. The effects of pH, initial concentration, adsorbent dosage, time, temperature, and regeneration cycles were tested. The adsorption capacity obtained in this study was compared favorably to that of the materials reported in the literature. Several isotherms were applied to describe the experimental results, with the Sips isotherm having the best fit. Kinetic studies showed that the adsorption follows the Elovich kinetic model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Evaluation of Biochar and Compost Mixes as Substitutes to a Commercial Propagation Mix
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9204394 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
The effects of biochar (BC) on seed propagation depend on the type of BC, BC incorporation rate, base substrate, and plant seed species. Limited research tested BC-compost mixes for seed propagation. High percentages (70% or 80%, by volume) of BC with vermicompost (VC) [...] Read more.
The effects of biochar (BC) on seed propagation depend on the type of BC, BC incorporation rate, base substrate, and plant seed species. Limited research tested BC-compost mixes for seed propagation. High percentages (70% or 80%, by volume) of BC with vermicompost (VC) or chicken manure compost (CM) were evaluated to substitute a commercial propagation mix (control) in three experiments. Seeds, including basil, coleus, edamame, marigold, okra, petunia, radish, salvia, tomato, vinca, and zinnia in Experiments 1 and 2 had similar or higher emergence percentages (EPs) and emergence indexes (EIs) in both BC:VC mixes, while celosia, cowpea, corn, and pumpkin had lower EPs or EIs in either 8BC:2VC or 7BC:3VC mixes compared to the control. Seedling fresh weights in both BC:VC mixes were similar to the control except for vinca, pumpkin, marigold, and salvia. The BC:VC mixes had no negative effects on plant dry weights at 7 weeks after transplanting. In Experiment 3, BC:CM mixes suppressed the seed germination or seedling growth of coleus, corn, cowpea, marigold, petunia, pumpkin, radish, salvia, vinca, watermelon, and zinnia due to high pH and CM’s high electrical conductivity. Therefore, 7BC:3VC and 8BC:2VC can be used as seed propagation mix, while 7BC:3CM and 8BC:2CM are not recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Biochar as a Stimulator for Germination Capacity in Seeds of Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita (L.) Rusby)
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(16), 3213; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9163213 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1331
Abstract
This article presents the findings of a laboratory study investigating the stimulation and conditioning of seeds with biochar and the effects observed in the germination and emergence of Virginia mallow (Sida hermaphrodita (L.) Rusby) seedlings. The study shows that biochar, applied [...] Read more.
This article presents the findings of a laboratory study investigating the stimulation and conditioning of seeds with biochar and the effects observed in the germination and emergence of Virginia mallow (Sida hermaphrodita (L.) Rusby) seedlings. The study shows that biochar, applied as a conditioner added to water in the process of seed hydration, improves their germination capacity. When the processed plant material was added to water at a rate of 5 g (approx. 1250 seeds) per 100 mL, the rate of germination increased to 45.3%, and was 23.3% higher when compared to the control group, and 7.3% higher than in the seeds hydrated without biochar. The beneficial effects of biochar application were also reflected in the increased mass of Virginia mallow seedlings. The mass of seedlings increased by 73.5% compared to the control sample and by 25.9% compared to the seeds hydrated without biochar. Given the low cost of charcoal applied during the hydro-conditioning process, the material can be recommended as a conditioner in large-scale production of Virginia mallow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Effect of Biochar Application Depth on Crop Productivity Under Tropical Rainfed Conditions
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(13), 2602; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9132602 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Although inherently fertile, tropical soils rapidly degrade soon after cultivation. The period of time for which crops, mulch, compost, and manure provide nutrients and maintain mineral fertilizers in the soil is relatively short. Biochar, on the other hand, has the potential to maintain [...] Read more.
Although inherently fertile, tropical soils rapidly degrade soon after cultivation. The period of time for which crops, mulch, compost, and manure provide nutrients and maintain mineral fertilizers in the soil is relatively short. Biochar, on the other hand, has the potential to maintain soil fertility and sequester carbon for hundreds or even thousands of years. This study determined the effect of biochar application depth on the productivity of NERICA-4 upland rice cultivar under tropical rainfed conditions. A fixed biochar–soil ratio of 1:20 (5% biochar) was applied in three depths—10 cm (TA), 20 cm (TB), and 30 cm (TC) with a non-biochar treatment (CK) as the control. The study showed that while crop productivity increased, root penetration depth decreased with increasing biochar application depth. Soil moisture was highest under TA (probably due to water logging in sunken-bed plots that formed after treatment) and lowest under TC (due to runoff over the raised-bed plots that formed too). Grain yield for the biochar treatments was 391.01–570.45 kg/ha (average of 480.21 kg/ha), with the potential to reach 576.47–780.57 kg/ha (average of 695.73 kg/ha) if contingent field conditions including pest damage and runoff can be prevented. By quantifying the effect of externalities on the field experiment, the study showed that biochar can enhance crop productivity. This was good for sustainable food production and for taking hungry Africa off the donor-driven food ration the nation barely survives on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Optimum Method Uploaded Nutrient Solution for Blended Biochar Pellet with Application of Nutrient Releasing Model as Slow Release Fertilizer
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 1899; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9091899 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
The nutrient releasing characteristics of a blended biochar pellet comprising a mixture of biochar and pig manure compost ratio (4:6) uploaded with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) nutrient solutions were investigated with the application of a modified Hyperbola model during a [...] Read more.
The nutrient releasing characteristics of a blended biochar pellet comprising a mixture of biochar and pig manure compost ratio (4:6) uploaded with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) nutrient solutions were investigated with the application of a modified Hyperbola model during a 77-day precipitation period. The experiment consisted of five treatments, i.e., the control, as 100% pig manure compost pellet (PMCP), a urea solution made at room temperature (TN), a urea solution heated to 60 °C (HTN), N, P and K solutions made at room temperature (TNPK), and N, P and K solutions heated to 60 °C (HTNPK). The cumulative ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N) in the blended biochar pellets was slow released over the 77 days of precipitation period, but nitrite nitrogen (NO3-N) was rapidly released, i.e., within 15 days of precipitation (Phase I), close behind on a slower release rate within the final precipitation (Phase II). Accumulated phosphate phosphorus (PO4-P) concentrations were not much different, and slowly released until the final precipitation period, while the highest accumulated K amount was 2493.8 mg L−1 in the TNPK at 8 days, which then remained at a stage state of K. Accumulated silicon dioxide (SiO2) concentrations abruptly increased until 20 days of precipitation, regardless of treatments. For the application of the releasing model for nutrient releasing characteristics, the estimations of accumulated NH4-N, NO3-N, PO4-P, K and SiO2 in all the treatments were significantly (p < 0.01) fitted with a modified Hyperbola model. These findings indicate that blended biochar pellets can be used as a slow release fertilizer for agricultural practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Biochar from Microwave Pyrolysis of Artemisia Slengensis: Characterization and Methylene Blue Adsorption Capacity
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 1813; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9091813 - 01 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
In this research, artemisia selengensis was used to produce biochar via microwave pyrolysis. The influence of pyrolysis temperature, heating rates, temperature holding time and additive on the biochar yield and adsorbability were all investigated. The results suggest that the biochar yield decreased with [...] Read more.
In this research, artemisia selengensis was used to produce biochar via microwave pyrolysis. The influence of pyrolysis temperature, heating rates, temperature holding time and additive on the biochar yield and adsorbability were all investigated. The results suggest that the biochar yield decreased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature while the adsorbability of the biochar increased with an increase of the pyrolysis temperature; the biochar yield and its adsorbability could achieve the desired value when the heating rate and temperature holding time were in a specific scope; the biochar yield decreased when an additive was added; the adsorbability of the biochar could be increased by adding ZnCl2 (metal chloride) and Na2CO3 (metal carbonate). According to the orthogonal experiments, the optimal conditions for biochar production were: pyrolysis temperature 550 °C, heating rate 2 °C/s, temperature holding time 15 min, without additive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Optimization of Salix Carbonation Solid Acid Catalysts for One-Step Synthesis by Response Surface Method
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 1518; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9081518 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
Salix carboniferous solid acid catalysts were successfully obtained via one-step carbonization and sulfonation of Salix psammophila in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid, which was then used in the esterification reaction between oleic acid and methanol to prepare the biodiesel. The esterification rate [...] Read more.
Salix carboniferous solid acid catalysts were successfully obtained via one-step carbonization and sulfonation of Salix psammophila in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid, which was then used in the esterification reaction between oleic acid and methanol to prepare the biodiesel. The esterification rate of the catalyst obtained from the reaction indicated the catalytic performance of the catalyst. Afterwards, the recycling performance of the catalyst was optimized and characterized based on Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. The catalyst performance was examined and optimized through the response surface method, and the catalyst was determined and characterized based on scanning electron microscope (SEM), elemental analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and infrared analysis. The results suggested that the optimal preparation conditions were as follows: reaction temperature of 125 °C, reaction time of 102 min, solid–liquid ratio of 17 g/100 mL, standing time of 30 min, and the highest conversion level of 94.15%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Article
Process Simulation and Economic Evaluation of Bio-Oil Two-Stage Hydrogenation Production
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 693; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9040693 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Bio-oil hydrogenation upgrading process is a method that can convert crude bio-oil into high-quality bio-fuel oil, which includes two stages of mild and deep hydrogenation. However, coking in the hydrogenation process is the key issue which negatively affects the catalyst activity and consequently [...] Read more.
Bio-oil hydrogenation upgrading process is a method that can convert crude bio-oil into high-quality bio-fuel oil, which includes two stages of mild and deep hydrogenation. However, coking in the hydrogenation process is the key issue which negatively affects the catalyst activity and consequently the degree of hydrogenation in both stages. In this paper, an Aspen Plus process simulation model was developed for the two-stage bio-oil hydrogenation demonstration plant which was used to evaluate the effect of catalyst coking on the bio-oil upgrading process and the economic performance of the process. The model was also used to investigate the effect of catalyst deactivation caused by coke deposition in the mild stage. Three reaction temperatures in the mild stage (250 °C, 280 °C, and 300 °C) were considered. The simulation results show that 45% yield of final product is obtained at the optimal reaction condition which is 280 °C for the mild stage and 400 °C for the deep stage. Economic analysis shows that the capital cost of industrial production is $15.2 million for a bio-oil upgrading plant at a scale of 107 thousand tons per year. The operating costs are predicted to be $1024.27 per ton of final product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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Review

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Review
Preparation and Modification of Biochar Materials and their Application in Soil Remediation
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(7), 1365; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9071365 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 3233
Abstract
As a new functional material, biochar was usually prepared from biomass and solid wastes such as agricultural and forestry waste, sludge, livestock, and poultry manure. The wide application of biochar is due to its abilities to remove pollutants, remediate contaminated soil, and reduce [...] Read more.
As a new functional material, biochar was usually prepared from biomass and solid wastes such as agricultural and forestry waste, sludge, livestock, and poultry manure. The wide application of biochar is due to its abilities to remove pollutants, remediate contaminated soil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, the influence of preparation methods, process parameters, and modification methods on the physicochemical properties of biochar were discussed, as well as the mechanisms of biochar in the remediation of soil pollution. The biochar applications in soil remediation in the past years were summarized, such as the removal of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and the improvement of soil quality. Finally, the potential risks of biochar application and the future research directions were analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
Review
Biochar as a Multifunctional Component of the Environment—A Review
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(6), 1139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app9061139 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2336
Abstract
The growing demand for electricity, caused by dynamic economic growth, leads to a decrease in the available non-renewable energy resources constituting the foundation of global power generation. A search for alternative sources of energy that can support conventional energy technologies utilizing fossil fuels [...] Read more.
The growing demand for electricity, caused by dynamic economic growth, leads to a decrease in the available non-renewable energy resources constituting the foundation of global power generation. A search for alternative sources of energy that can support conventional energy technologies utilizing fossil fuels is not only of key significance for the power industry but is also important from the point of view of environmental conservation and sustainable development. Plant biomass, with its specific chemical structure and high calorific value, is a promising renewable source of energy which can be utilized in numerous conversion processes, enabling the production of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Methods of thermal biomass conversion include pyrolysis, i.e., a process allowing one to obtain a multifunctional product known as biochar. The article presents a review of information related to the broad uses of carbonization products. It also discusses the legal aspects and quality standards applicable to these materials. The paper draws attention to the lack of uniform legal and quality conditions, which would allow for a much better use of biochar. The review also aims to highlight the high potential for a use of biochar in different environments. The presented text attempts to emphasize the importance of biochar as an alternative to classic products used for energy, environmental and agricultural purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Carbon Materials from Biomass and Their Applications)
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