Influence of pyrolysis temperature and production unit on formation of selected PAHs, oxy-PAHs, N-PACs, PCDDs, and PCDFs in biochar - A screening study

Eva Weidemann, Wolfram Buss, Mar Edo, Ondrej Masek, Stina Jansson

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Abstract / Description of output

The influence of reactor type and operating conditions of the pyrolysis unit on the final concentration of toxic contaminants in biochar remains unclear. Therefore, we determined the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (oxy-PAHs), nitrogen-containing polycyclic aromatic compounds (N-PACs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in biochars produced from three different feedstocks (softwood, wheat straw, and anaerobic digestate). Different scaled pyrolysis units (one batch and two continuous units) at two different temperatures (550 and 700 °C) were considered. The results revealed that the type of biomass had a significant influence on the PAH, oxy-PAH, and N-PAC content of the biochars. The configuration and type of the pyrolysis unit influenced only the wheat straw pyrolyzed at 550 °C. PCDDs and PCDFs occurred at very low levels in the biochars. In terms of PAH, PCDD, and PCDF content, the biochars assessed in this study represent a low risk to the environment, regardless of the temperature and type and size of the pyrolysis unit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental science and pollution research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2017

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