Biochar micronization and material applications

Conference Dates

September 15-20, 2019


Biochar is used in different applications; most commonly it is applied as land enhancement. Biochar is an environmentally friendly, carbon-negative biomaterial, which contributes to bio and circular economy. In South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (later Xamk) biochar is studied in BioSampo, a Research Centre for Bio and Circular Economy. Pyrolysis of different biomaterials has been one of the focus areas so far. In the near future biochar from different origins will also be micronized. Reduced particle size has many well-known advantages, such as increased surface area and reactiveness. Therefore, micronization can enhance the utilization possibilities of biochar in different technical applications, for instance as a raw material in paint or filters. After the micronization tests have been carried out in BioSampo, the best applications will be evaluated. For this evaluation, particle size distributions of micronized biochar will be analysed. This information is also crucial for the further development of the micronization process. As results of the micronization tests and the evaluations, the most potential applications are identified and recommendations for future actions considering micronized biochar are given. Xamk has a long history in the micronization of ash, mostly bio fly ash. Currently there are pilot-scale opposed jet mill micronization equipment in BioSampo. This equipment can also be used in classification. In the micronization process, the material is fed into the system, where it is ground in one or two opposed jet mills and classified into two fractions. The micronization of biochar will differ from that of bio fly ash at least in one significant way – biochar dust can be explosive. Thus, the micronization process requires an inert atmosphere, which prevents carbon from igniting. These issues are addressed in a project called “Biochar and bio fly ash micronization and material applications in Kymenlaakso region”, in short “HITU”. During the project bio fly ash from several power plants has been micronized. Two of the most potential, micronized ashes have been tested in concrete for compressive strength. The aim of these experiments is to enhance the utilization of bio fly ash and to decrease the need for natural resources in concrete. HITU is administrated by Xamk and the project duration is 1.8.2018 – 31.12.2020. The main funder is the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). For more information and contact info, see www.xamk.fi/hitu-en

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