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A simple flash carbonization route for conversion of biomass to porous carbons with high CO2 storage capacity

Hirst, Edward A; Taylor, Alison; Mokaya, Robert

A simple flash carbonization route for conversion of biomass to porous carbons with high CO2 storage capacity Thumbnail


Edward A Hirst

Alison Taylor

Robert Mokaya


This work offers a new, and simpler, method for the carbonisation of biomass that involves flash carbonisation of biomass at relatively low temperature (< 400 o C). We successfully converted the biomass precursor (eucalyptus sawdust) to carbonaceous matter via flash heating for a short period of time (5 –10 minutes) under a flow of air. On activation, the flash carbonized carbon offers high yields of activated carbons with higher microporosity compared to sawdust derived activated carbons prepared via hydrothermal carbonization or conventional pyrolysis. Depending on the level of activation, the flash carbonized sawdust-derived activated carbons retain some ‘woody’ morphology preserved from the sawdust. The porosity of the carbons can be tailored towards being predominantly microporous, which generates adsorbents that exhibit very attractive CO2 uptake (up to 5.0 mmol g-1) at 1 bar and 25 o C. Moreover, depending on the level of activation, it is possible to tailor the porosity of the carbons such that they simultaneously exhibit high post combustion (< 1 bar) and pre-combustion (20 bar) CO2 capture capability. The carbons exhibit exceptional performance for low pressure swing adsorption (PSA) with working capacity of up to 8.3 mmol g-1 for a pure CO2 stream (6 to 1 bar) and up to 5.6 mmol g-1 for flue gas (1.2 to 0.2 bar), while the working capacity for vacuum swing adsorption (VSA) reaches 5.3 mmol g-1 under pure CO2 (1.5 to 0.05 bar), and 2.1 mmol g-1 for flue gas (0.3 to 0.01 bar) conditions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 5, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 14, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Journal Journal of Materials Chemistry A
Print ISSN 2050-7488
Electronic ISSN 2050-7496
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
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