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Gasification biochar reactivity toward methane cracking

  • Ducousso, Marion
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2015
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This study is focused on the reactivity of biochar to catalyze the methane cracking reaction. Biochar was produced from steam gasification of poplar wood (750°C, 30 min, 20°C/min, 90%H2O/10%N2, fluidized bed) and then functionalized by an O2 gas-phase treatment and a wet impregnation into nitrate salts solutions to increase oxygen functions and minerals (calcium and potassium) concentrations at the biochar surface respectively. A set of characterization was performed on the raw and functionalized biochars to evaluate their surface physico-chemical properties. The oxygenated functions, the mineral particles, the carbonaceous structures and the textural properties (specific surface area and porosity) were analyzed. Results showed that the two functionalization treatments increased the concentration of the targeted functions and modified the carbon structures and the textural properties as well. Methane cracking tests were then performed on the biochars to compare their activities and correlate with their physico-chemical properties. It has been highlighted the minerals particles of potassium and calcium are the main active sites of the biochar surface. In fact, the reactivity of the impregnated biochars was twice to 4 times higher than the one of the raw biochar. The porosity of the biochar is the second most important criteria to notably obtain a good dispersion of the minerals particles. Basic oxygenated functions and disordered carbonaceous structures (defaults into the graphene sheets) are reactive as well. However, coke deposition progressively deactivated the biochars surface over the reaction in any case. A model at the pore scale has been proposed to better understand the surface deactivation.

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