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Technical, economical and climate related aspects of biochar production technologies: A literature review

TitleTechnical, economical and climate related aspects of biochar production technologies: A literature review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMeyer, Sebastian, Glaser Bruno, and Quicker Peter
JournalEnviron. Sci. Technol.
Abstract

For the development of commercial biochar projects, reliable data on biochar production technologies is needed. For this purpose, peer-reviewed scientific articles on carbonization technologies (pyrolysis, gasification, hydrothermal carbonization and flash carbonization) have been analyzed. Valuable information is provided by papers on pyrolysis processes, less information is available on gasification processes and few papers about hydrothermal and flash carbonization technologies were identified. A wide range of data on the costs of char production (between 51$ per tonne pyrolysis biochar from yard waste and 386 US$ per tonne retort charcoal) and on the GHG balance of biochar systems (between -1054 kg CO2e and +123 kg CO2e per t dry biomass feedstock) has been published. More data from pilot projects is needed to improve the evaluation of biochar production technologies. Additional research on the influence of biochar application on surface albedo, atmospheric soot concentration and yield responses is necessary to assess the entire climate impact of biochar systems. Above all, further field trials on the ability of different technologies to produce chars for agricultural soils and carbon sequestration are essential for future technology evaluation.

DOI10.1021/es201792c