Synergies between BECCS and Biochar - Maximizing Carbon Sequestration Potential by Recycling Wood Ash

Wolfram Buss*, Stina Jansson, Christian Wurzer, Ondřej Mašek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and biochar are key carbon-negative technologies. In this study, synergies between these technologies were explored by using ash from wood combustion, a byproduct from BECCS, as an additive (0, 5, 10, 20, and 50 wt %) in biochar production (wood pyrolysis at 450 °C). The addition of wood ash catalyzed biochar formation and increased the yield of fixed carbon (FC) (per dry, ash-free feedstock), i.e., the sequestrable carbon per spruce wood input. At the highest ash addition (50%), 45% less wood was needed to yield the same amount of FC. Since the land area available for growing biomass is becoming scarcer, our approach significantly increases biochar's potential to sequester carbon. However, increasing the feedstock ash content results in less feedstock carbon available for conversion into FC. Consequently, the yield of FC per pyrolysis run (based on dry feedstock) in the 50% ash-amended material was lower than in the control. An economic analysis showed that the 20% ash-amended biochar brings the biggest cost savings over the control with a 15% decrease in CO 2 -abatement costs. Biochar-ash composites increase the carbon sequestration potential of biochar significantly, reduce the CO 2 -abatement costs, and recycle nutrients which can result in increased plant growth in turn and more biomass for BECCS, bringing synergies for BECCS and biochar deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4204-4209
Number of pages6
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2019


  • Carbon stability
  • CO abatement
  • Combustion
  • Fixed carbon
  • Negative emission technology
  • Thermogravimetric analysis


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