Enhancing the agricultural value of biochar

Title of Project

RF Plasma Polymerisation and thin films

Name of Advisor/s

Dr Elsa Antunes and Prof Mohan Jacob

College

College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

Biochar is a carbon-based material produced from biomass pyrolysis. Biochar produced from biomass pyrolysis, varying between 15 to 80% depending on biomass feedstock composition and pyrolysis conditions. The number of applications of biochar has increased in the last decade; biochar can be used for energy production by combustion, soil amelioration, soil remediation, as a fertiliser, for activated carbon production, carbon sequestration and as a low-cost adsorbent. Using biochar as an adsorbent is the most promising application where the biochar removal capacity of contaminants from aqueous solution is often higher than the activated carbon removal capacity. The removal capacity of biochar depends on the biochar properties, contaminant solution characteristics and adsorption conditions. Pyrolysis conditions of biochar production and activation parameters impact heavily on biochar performance as an adsorbent. The main objective of this project is to develop an environmental sustainable closed-loop for biomass waste, using biochar for contaminant removal and subsequently use this final biochar for beneficial land application.

The project will have different components and involves different fields/ academic disciplines such as Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture etc. Based on the candidate’s field of study, and research interest, the objectives of the project will be designed.

Keywords

Pyrolysis, biomass, biochar, agriculture

Would suit an applicant who

has a relevant BE Honours degree or Master in Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering or equivalent.