Industrial biochar characterization : properties and potential applications
Worrall, Jacob D.
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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Biochar is a carbon-rich charcoal produced from pyrolyzed biomass such as wood, agricultural waste, or animal products. Biochar is primarily used as a soil amendment, but it has promising applications in carbon sequestration, fuel cell production, medicinal uses, as a construction material, and more. The diversity in biochar production and feedstock makes it a highly variable product. Therefore, the characterization of biochar is critical before determining potential applications. This study characterizes the biochar produced by West Fraser Timber Co., which was made using wood waste from OSB production and from the surrounding area as a feedstock. A full proximate analysis was conducted. Other relevant properties were predicted based on comparisons between available literature and the production factors of the biochar. Based on the properties, both measured and predicted, it was assessed that the biochar is applicable as a soil amendment for carbon sequestration and improving crop productivity, but not applicable as a fuel source.