Publications (2)0 Total impact
ABSTRACT: assigned many roles to play in strate-gies for sustainable consumption. In addition to being a food source and renewable raw material , it can be used for energy production [2,3], carbon sequestration [4–6] and, finally, as an essential element to increase soil fer-tility . Estimates of how much biomass is available for the various applications vary widely, depending on the focus of the investigators and how issues of soil man-agement and biodiversity, among others, are addressed; for example, the energy and raw material substitution potential of biomass in the USA has been estimated to comprise more than a third of the current US petroleum consumption for power, transportation and chemicals by 2030 , while the worldwide potential for a competing use in sequestering photosynthetically bound carbon as biochar to increase soil fertility has been estimated to be 1 GtC yr -1  – approximately one eighth of the global CO 2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2006 . A major disadvantage for almost all applications is the high degree of heterogeneity in the form, composition and water content of biomass. Therefore, drying and/or conversion processes are usually required to improve material properties for easier handling, transport and storage of such materials. A variety of thermochemical or biological processes can be used to convert biomass in the absence of oxygen to products with higher degrees of carbon content than the original biomass. Gas or liquid products (biogas or alcohol) predominate in biochemical transformations, while solids (charcoal) are the major commercial products of the thermochemical conversion Biofuels (2011) 2(1), 89–124
ABSTRACT: The carbonization of biomass residuals to char has strong potential to become an environmentally sound conversion process for the production of a wide variety of products. In addition to its traditional use for the production of charcoal and other energy vectors, pyrolysis can produce products for environmental, catalytic, electronic and agricultural applications. As an alternative to dry pyrolysis, the wet pyrolysis process, also known as hydrothermal carbonization, opens up the field of potential feedstocks for char production to a range of nontraditional renewable and plentiful wet agricultural residues and municipal wastes. Its chemistry offers huge potential to influence product characteristics on demand, and produce designer carbon materials. Future uses of these hydrochars may range from innovative materials to soil amelioration, nutrient conservation via intelligent waste stream management and the increase of carbon stock in degraded soils.