Presentation title: “Innovative Products Using Biochar Derived from Agricultural Waste Resources“ Abstract: It is well known that the global agricultural system generates large volumes of organic wastes, many of which are treated
Presentation title: “Innovative Products Using Biochar Derived from Agricultural Waste Resources“
Abstract: It is well known that the global agricultural system generates large volumes of organic wastes, many of which are treated by incineration or landfilling. There is growing interest in using these materials in value-added products to improve the overall environmental performance of the agricultural operation and to generate secondary revenue streams for the farmer. We have applied pyrolysis processes, i.e. high-temperature thermochemical conversion in the absence of oxygen, to produce biochar from common agricultural wastes including animal manure, woody biomass, crop residues, pallet wood, and boxboard. Biochar is a highly stable form of carbon with favorable physical and chemical properties that make it suitable for application in a wide variety of industrial applications and as a potential replacement for fossil fuel-based carbon components such as granular activated carbon (GAC) and carbon black. This presentation shows how biochar can be effectively applied as an enriched soil amendment, adsorbent for important nutrients such as phosphorous, and as a filler in biopolymer composite products. It is further demonstrated that pyrolysis and biochar can be combined with other technologies such as composting and anaerobic digestion to help move the global food system toward the goal of circular economy.
Presentation title: “From Biowaste to Transportation Fuel — and Environment-Enhancing Paradigm”
Abstract: Single-cycle nature fertilizer use would not meet the increasing food and bioenergy demand; thus agricultural and biofuel production addictively relies on fossil fuel-derived fertilizer, which is the largest single source of reactive nitrogen in biosphere contributing to climate change. Renewable energy can be obtained via various viable sources such as solar, wind, and even geothermal. However, there is no clear sustainable pathway for renewable liquid fuels yet. A new paradigm, dubbed as “Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2-Energy)”, has been investigated in Zhang’s lab. In this paradigm, biowaste (food, manure, algal bloom, and sludge) are first converted into biocrude oil via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). The HTL biocrude is then upgraded into transportation fuels via catalytic hydrotreating and distillation. The post-HTL wastewater (PHW) is treated to recover remaining carbon, energy, and nutrients for biomass production including growing algae. This presentation gives an update of the E2-Energy research in the lab, including the biocrude oil conversion and PHW valorization.
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