Biochar in thermal and thermochemical biorefineries-production of biochar as a coproduct

O. Mašek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Biochar offers an effective way of removing carbon from the atmosphere and presents numerous opportunities for synergies in different areas of biomass production and its utilization. Biofuel and biochemical production is one such area where implementation of the biochar concept is potentially attractive, reducing the carbon footprint, and improving sustainability of biomass sourcing. This is due to the fact that in biofuel plants and biorefineries based around thermochemical biomass conversion, eg, fast pyrolysis, gasification, biochar is a natural coproduct, which is currently most often combusted for process heat. Where higher-value uses (agriculture, horticulture, environmental management, etc.) can be developed, this biochar could be beneficially utilized, rather than combusted. Although biochemical conversion processes do not directly produce biochar, they yield residues that are well suited to production of biochar (eg, lignin).In thermochemical biorefineries, where biochar is a coproduct, the production process is optimized for production of biofuels or chemicals, and therefore not necessarily set up to yield biochar with specific properties. Although this may reduce the perceived value of such biochar, using knowledge of interactions between biochar properties and different applications, it is possible to match biochar from different processes to specific applications. Where biochar is produced in a dedicated process, eg, utilizing residues from biochemical conversion, the production conditions can be tuned to yield biochar with properties matching specific applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Biofuels Production: Processes and Technologies: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780081004562
ISBN (Print)9780081004555
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Biochar
  • Biorefinery
  • Hydrochar
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Pyrolysis
  • Thermochemical


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