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Biochar (pyrolysis)

Pyrolysis is the thermo-chemical conversion of dry organic materials (i.e. woody wastes) into bio-oil, syngas, and biochar. Biochar is being promoted for its potential to improve soil properties, fertility and carbon sequestration in soil while also producing renewable energy. Research results on how this material might impact agricultural soils within temperate regions is contradictory. Validation of biochar as a beneficial soil amendment and carbon sink would add important economic value to the pyrolysis process and spur adoption. More targeted uses in the near term include improved nutrient efficiency and contaminant absorption. Studies on the use of bio-oil have also been conducted.

 

Featured Publications

Advancing Organics Management in Washington State: The Waste to Fuels Technology Partnership 2015-2017 Biennium

Chen, S., Frear, C., Garcia-Pérez, M., Kruger, C., Ewing, T., Jensen, J., Yorgey, G., Gang, D.R., Amonette, J., Ayiania, M., Berim, A., Botella, L., Carbajal Gamarra, F.M., Cleary, J., Dunsmoor, A., Finch, R.W., Fuchs, M., Haghighi Mood, S., Hall, S.A., Han, Y., Jobson, B.T., Long, R., Ma, J., Mainali, K., Moller, D., Neuenschwander, L., Seker, A., Sjoding, D., Stankovikj, F., Suliman, W., Tanzil, A., Terrell, E., Tran, C-C., Xiong, X., Yu, L. 2018. Compiled and edited by Hills, K., Hall, S.A., Saari, B., Zimmerman, T. Waste 2 Resources, Washington State Department of Ecology Publication No. 18-07-010. Olympia, Washington. 424 pp. June 2018.

Technology Research and Extension Related to Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Manure, 2015-2017 Biennium

Garcia-Pérez, M., Chen, S., Kruger, C., Yorgey, G., Ai, P., Ayania, M., Dunsmoor, A., Englund, K., Ewing, T., Frear, C., Gao, A., Ghoghare, R., Hall, S.A., Jensen, J., Ma, J., Manoharan, G., Martinez, J., Nasir, A., Parlina, I., Pelaez-Samaniego, M.R., Pereira-Ferraz, G., Rajagopalan, K., Smith, M., Suliman, W., Wang, D., Yao, Y., Yu, L. 2017. Compiled and edited by Hills, K., Hall, S.A., Saari, B., Zimmerman, T. A Project Report for the Washington State University Agricultural Research Center and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 173 pp.

Soil Amendments

Yorgey, G., W. Pan, R. Awale, S. Machado, A. Bary. 2017. Chapter 7 In Yorgey, G. and C. Kruger, eds. Advances in Dryland Production Systems in the Pacific Northwest. Washington State University Extension, Pullman, WA.

Approaches for adding value to anaerobically digested dairy fiber

Manuel Raul Pelaez-Samaniego, Rita L Hummel, Wei Liao, Jingwei Ma, Jim Jensen, Chad Kruger, and Craig Frear. 2017. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 72, 254-268.

Technology Research and Extension Related to Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Manure, 2013-2015 biennium

Chen, S., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, C. Kruger, A. Abghari, P. Ai, N. Abu-Lail, G. Astill, I. Dallmeyer, M. Flury, A. Fortuna, A. Gao, J. Garcia-Nunez, R. Ghoghare, J.B. Harsh, H. Iqbal, J. Jensen, N Kennedy, J. Ma, S. Mitchell, M. Smith, W. Suliman, D. Wang, G. Yorgey, L. Yu, Q. Zhao, S. Zhang, and T. Zhu. 2015. Washington State Department of Agriculture, Olympia, WA.

Advancing Organics Management in Washington State: The Waste to Fuels Technology Partnership

Chen, S., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, J. Jensen, D. Sjoding, C. Kruger, N. Abu-Lail, G. Astill, I. Dallmeyer, M. Flury, A. Fortuna, J. Garcia-Nunez, S. Hall, J.B. Harsh, H. Iqbal, N Kennedy, J. Ma, S. Mitchell, B. Pecha, R. Pelaez-Samaniego, A. Seker, M. Smith, W. Suliman, G. Yorgey, L. Yu, and Q. Zhao. 2016. Publication 16-07-008. Washington Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA.

Anaerobic digestion of C1-C4 light oxygenated organic compounds derived from the torrefaction of lignocellulosic materials

Liaw, S.S., Frear, C., Lei, W., Zhang, S., Garcia-Perez, M. (2015). Fuel Processing Technology, 131: 150-158.

Bio-Oil: An Introduction to Fast Pyrolysis and its Applications

Murray, T.,  F. Resende, and G. Luo. 2014.  WSU Fact Sheet FS140E. The United States has targeted biofuels generated from domestic biomass supplies as a significant contributor for future liquid fuel supplies. Reliance on domestic fuel production opens the door for a wide range of opportunities for natural resource managers, farmers, and other landowners who will be instrumental in developing the industry, its technologies, and its utilization of agricultural crop residues and forestry biomass. This publication discusses bio-oil produced via fast pyrolysis, its applications, and associated biomass feedstocks.

Methods for Producing Biochar and Advanced Biofuels in Washington State Part 3: Literature Review Technologies for Product Collection and Refining

Garcia-Perez, M. et. al. 2012. This is the third of a series of reports exploring the use of biomass pyrolysis to sequester carbon and to produce fuels and chemicals.

Methods for Producing Biochar and Advanced Biofuels in Washington State Part 2: Literature Review of the Biomass Supply Chain and Preprocessing Technologies From Field to Pyrolysis Reactor

Garcia-Perez, M., C. Kruger, M. Fuchs, S. Sokhansanj, P. Badger, J. Garcia-Nunez, T. Lewis, and S. Kantor. 2012. Second Project Report. Department of Biological Systems Engineering and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 79 pp.

The economic value of biochar in crop production and carbon sequestration

Galinato, S., J. Yoder and D. Granatstein. 2011. Energy Policy, 39(10):6344-6350.

Methods for Producing Biochar and Advanced Biofuels in Washington State Part 1: Literature Review of Pyrolysis Reactors

Garcia-Perez, M., T. Lewis, C. Kruger. 2011. Funding for this study is provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology with the intention to address the growing demand for information on the design of advanced pyrolysis units. This is the first of a series of reports exploring the use of biomass thermochemical conversion technologies to sequester carbon and to produce fuels and chemicals.

 

Additional Publications

Dairy Waste Biorefinery

Kennedy, N., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, C. Kruger, and S. Chen. 2013. Concept illustration and description.

Organic Waste Biorefinery

Kennedy, N., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, C. Kruger, and S. Chen. 2013. Concept illustration and description.

Biochar Produced from Anaerobically Digested Fiber Reduces Phosphorus in Dairy Lagoons

Streubel, J. D., H. P. Collins, J. M. Tarara, and R. L. Cochran.; Posted online 5 Jan. 2012

Overview of Biomass Pyrolysis Technologies – Historical developments and potential for the production of bio-char, advances fuels and high value chemicals

Recorded webinar (online presentation) from June 1st, 2011 by Manuel Garcia-Perez, PhD; Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering. The reactors used for biomass pyrolysis can be classified into slow and fast pyrolysis. While slow pyrolysis reactors are mainly used to produce charcoal, fast pyrolysis is the technology of choice to maximize bio-oil yields. Yields as high as 80 wt can be obtained with this technology. During the webinar historical developments and potential of pyrolysis technologies for the production of bio-char, advanced fuels and high value chemicals are discussed.

Economic tradeoff between biochar and bio-oil production via pyrolysis

Yoder, J., S. Galinato, D. Granatstein and M. Garcia-Perez. 2011. Biomass and Bioenergy, 35(5):1851-1862.

WSU Thermo-Chemical Engineering Laboratory: Manuel Garcia-Perez

Professor Garcia-Perez is an expert in thermo-chemical engineering of biomass into energy and products. Our work with Garcia-Perez includes the development and evaluation of biochar from the pyrolysis of woody organic wastes as a potential soil amendment.

Bioenergy as an Agricultural GHG Mitigation Strategy in Washington State

Chapter 22 in Climate Friendly Farming: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Full report available at http://csanr.wsu.edu/pages/Climate_Friendly_Farming_Final_Report/.

Biochar and Pyrolysis: Renewable Soil Carbon and Energy – December 2009

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Use of Biochar from the Pyrolysis of Waste Organic Material as a Soil Amendment

David Granatstein, Chad Kruger, Hal Collins, Manuel Garcia-Perez, and Jonathan Yoder, September 2009. Biochars from different feedstocks were tested on five soils. Biochars on all soil types increased soil C. Biochar C was stable in soil with mean residence times estimated in the hundreds of years. Soil nitrate levels were reduced with increasing biochar rate perhaps due to ammonium adsorption. Biochar did not accelerate loss of indigenous organic matter through the ‘priming effect.′ Biochars raised soil pH, but did not lead to consistent plant growth improvements.

Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: New Biorefinery Concept to Convert Softwood Bark to Transportation Fuels Final Report to the Washington State Department of Ecology

Manuel Garcia-Perez, Shulin Chen, Shuai Zhou,Zhouhong Wang, Jieni Lian, Robert Lee Johnson, Shi-Shen Liaw and Oisik Das, September 2009. This project tested a new pretreatment concept to enhance the production of sugars from the fast pyrolysis of wood and straw. It proved that sugars recovered from pyrolysis can be easily converted into ethanol. These two results are important because they show that fast pyrolysis of wood or straw followed by bio-oil hydro-treatment can create green gasoline and diesel (from lignin), as well as ethanol (from cellulose).


 
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