Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition)

A special issue of C (ISSN 2311-5629). This special issue belongs to the section "Carbon Materials and Carbon Allotropes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 27345

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Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, The Maharaja Sayajirao, University of Baroda, Vadodara 390 001, Gujarat, India
Interests: carbon dioxide absorption
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last decade (2010–2020), there has been a prolific growth in research in the field of “Carbon materials from biomass”.

This trend is expected to grow owing to the depletion of fossil-based resources that served as feedstock for activated carbon materials thus far. Lignocellulosic biomass, including forest, agricultural and marine waste, are a substitute for fossil-based resources for carbon material production. Carbon materials with astounding properties and sometimes even superior to those of commercial activated carbon materials derived from fossil-based resources can be produced form biomass.

As the demand for high surface area, heteroatom functionalized micro and mesoporous activated carbon materials is growing due to their application in the fields of environment, energy, agriculture, sensing, catalysts, industry, defence and health sectors, there is an urgent need to focus on exploring the biomass feedstock as a sustainable feedstock for carbon materials production. Likewise, innovation is expected in the atomic level characterization of these materials to gain new insight into their property, structure and application. It is therefore an earnest appeal to the research fraternity in the field of “Carbon materials from biomass” to contribute their research papers actively for publication in the Special Issue, namely, “Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition)” in the journal C—Journal of Carbon Research. The first Volume published 10 papers, welcome to check.

Dr. Indra Neel Pulidindi
Dr. Pankaj Sharma
Prof. Dr. Aharon Gedanken
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • activated carbon
  • microporous carbon
  • biomass
  • production methods
  • characterization
  • activation methods
  • energy
  • environment
  • battery
  • fuel cells
  • supercapacitors
  • electrodes
  • adsorbents
  • CO2 mitigation
  • climate change

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 3062 KiB  
Article
Changes of C, H, and N Elements of Corn Straw during the Microwave Heating Process
by Zhihong Liu, Weitao Cao, Man Zhang, Wenke Zhao and Yaning Zhang
C 2023, 9(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9040117 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Due to the rapid growth of the global economy, energy consumption has been steadily increasing, leading to increasing issues such as energy shortages and environmental concerns. Biomass energy, a critical renewable energy source, plays a vital role in advancing low-carbon energy development and [...] Read more.
Due to the rapid growth of the global economy, energy consumption has been steadily increasing, leading to increasing issues such as energy shortages and environmental concerns. Biomass energy, a critical renewable energy source, plays a vital role in advancing low-carbon energy development and resource sustainability. In this study, experiments were conducted to study the migration of C, H, and N elements of corn straw during the microwave heating process, and the effects of residence time, heating temperature, and microwave power were also investigated. The results showed that when the temperature rose, both the proportion of C and H elements fluctuated slightly. Specifically, when the temperature rose from 75 °C to 275 °C, there was a 1.02% increase in the proportion of the C element and a 0.25% decrease in the proportion of the H element. Residence time appeared to be a significant factor influencing the changes in C, H, and N elements. For a 40 min residence time, the proportion of the C element increased from 31.77% to 35.36%, while the proportion of the H element decreased from 4.50% to 3.83%. When there was an increase in the microwave power between 160 W and 200 W, higher temperatures were reached in the samples, leading to the carbonization process of corn straw being more complete. Consequently, the proportion of the C element rose with extended residence time, whereas the proportion of the H element decreased as the residence time increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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17 pages, 2687 KiB  
Article
Customised Microporous Carbon 3D Structures with Good Mechanical Properties and High Nitrogen Content Obtained from Whey Powders
by Raúl Llamas-Unzueta, Luis A. Ramírez-Montoya, J. Angel Menéndez and Miguel A. Montes-Morán
C 2023, 9(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9040100 - 24 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Novel customised carbon monoliths with a high specific surface area were synthesised by carbonisation plus activation of dehydrated whey powders, a biomass byproduct of the dairy industry. The whey powders were casted directly by pouring them into a desired mould. After a pseudo-sintering [...] Read more.
Novel customised carbon monoliths with a high specific surface area were synthesised by carbonisation plus activation of dehydrated whey powders, a biomass byproduct of the dairy industry. The whey powders were casted directly by pouring them into a desired mould. After a pseudo-sintering process promoted by the self-reaction of the whey components (mostly lactose and whey proteins) at moderate temperatures (ca. 250 °C), 3D porous carbons were obtained. The process did not require any binder or external overpressure to prepare the 3D porous carbons. Upon thermal activation with CO2 or chemical activation with H3PO4 and KOH, the shape of the monolithic structure was preserved after the development of a microporous network (SBET up to 2400 m2/g). Both thermal and chemical activation had little effect on the macroporosity of the monoliths. Activation of these 3D carbons had to be performed with care to avoid heterogeneous skin/core activation and/or overactivation. Highly porous monoliths (SBET of 980 m2/g; open porosity of 70%) with outstanding compressive strength (10 MPa) could be obtained by thermal activation (CO2) of whey monoliths at 850 °C for 1.5 h. Additionally, the use of whey as a precursor provided the carbon monolith with a relatively high nitrogen content (ca. 3 wt.%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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16 pages, 7962 KiB  
Article
From Waste to Resource: Utilizing Sweet Chestnut Waste to Produce Hydrothermal Carbon for Water Decontamination
by Silvia Izquierdo, Nazaret Pacheco, Carlos J. Durán-Valle and Ignacio M. López-Coca
C 2023, 9(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9020057 - 01 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Carbonaceous materials are a highly appealing class of adsorbents, owing to their exceptional properties, such as high surface area and thermal and chemical stability. These materials have found successful applications in water purification. Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) cupules are disposed of [...] Read more.
Carbonaceous materials are a highly appealing class of adsorbents, owing to their exceptional properties, such as high surface area and thermal and chemical stability. These materials have found successful applications in water purification. Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) cupules are disposed of as waste. Valorization of these residues is a step forward in terms of circular economy and sustainability. Meanwhile, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) pose significant concerns due to their persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity, emerging as contaminants of concern for human health and the environment. This study focuses on preparing carbonaceous material by hydrothermal carbonization from chestnut cupules, followed by their use as adsorbents for PFAS removal from polluted water. The cupule waste material was crushed, ground, sieved, and subjected to hydrothermal treatment at temperatures ranging from 180–200 °C to produce hydrothermal carbons. The adsorbents obtained were characterized by various techniques such as nitrogen adsorption isotherm, porosimetry, point of zero charge, Fourier-transform infrared, scanning electron microscopy, and thermal, elemental, and energy dispersive X-ray analyses. Surface area (SBET) values of 42.3–53.2 m2·g−1 were obtained; pHPZC ranged from 3.8 to 4.8. This study also determined the adsorption kinetics and isotherms for removing perfluorooctanoate-contaminated water. The equilibrium was established at 72 h and qe = 1029.47 mg·g−1. To summarize, this research successfully valorized a biomass residue by transforming it into hydrothermal carbon, which was then utilized as an adsorbent for water decontamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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17 pages, 4047 KiB  
Article
Production, Characterization, and Activation of Biochars from a Mixture of Waste Insulation Electric Cables (WIEC) and Waste Lignocellulosic Biomass (WLB)
by Roberta Mota-Panizio, Ana Assis, Luís Carmo-Calado, Catarina Nobre, Andrei Longo, José Silveira, Maria Margarida Goncalves and Paulo Brito
C 2023, 9(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9020049 - 09 May 2023
Viewed by 1415
Abstract
Waste insulation electrical cables (WIEC) currently do not have an added value, due to their physical–chemical characteristics. Carbonization is known to enhance feedstock properties, particularly fuel and material properties; as such, this article aimed to study the production and activation of biochars using [...] Read more.
Waste insulation electrical cables (WIEC) currently do not have an added value, due to their physical–chemical characteristics. Carbonization is known to enhance feedstock properties, particularly fuel and material properties; as such, this article aimed to study the production and activation of biochars using WIEC and lignocellulosic biomass wastes as feedstock. Biochars were produced in a ceramic kiln with an average capacity of 15 kg at different temperatures, namely 300, 350 and 400 °C. After production, the biochars were further submitted to a washing process with water heated to 95 °C ± 5 °C and to an activation process with 2 N KOH. All biochars (after production, washing and activation) were characterized regarding an elemental analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, heating value, chlorine removal, ash content, apparent density and surface area. The main results showed that the increase in carbonization temperature from 300 to 400 °C caused the produced biochars to present a lower amount of oxygen and volatile matter, increased heating value, greater chlorine removal and increased ash content. Furthermore, the activation process increased the surface area of biochars as the production temperature increased. Overall, the carbonization of WIEC mixed with lignocellulosic wastes showed potential in enhancing these waste physical and chemical properties, with prospects to yield added-value products that activates biochar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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14 pages, 3881 KiB  
Article
Arsenic, Iron, and Manganese Adsorption in Single and Trinary Heavy Metal Solution Systems by Bamboo-Derived Biochars
by Anawat Pinisakul, Nattakarn Kruatong, Soydoa Vinitnantharat, Ponwarin Wilamas, Rattikan Neamchan, Nareerat Sukkhee, David Werner and Saichol Sanghaisuk
C 2023, 9(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9020040 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
Currently, heavy metal-contaminated groundwater is an environmental concern. This study investigated the use of bamboo biochar, chitosan-impregnated biochar, and iron-impregnated biochar for arsenic, iron, and manganese removal from groundwater. Isotherms of arsenic, iron, and manganese adsorption by bamboo derived biochar were compared with [...] Read more.
Currently, heavy metal-contaminated groundwater is an environmental concern. This study investigated the use of bamboo biochar, chitosan-impregnated biochar, and iron-impregnated biochar for arsenic, iron, and manganese removal from groundwater. Isotherms of arsenic, iron, and manganese adsorption by bamboo derived biochar were compared with those of commercial activated carbon in simulated groundwater composed of single and trinary heavy metal solutions. The binding of heavy metals by virgin and loaded bamboo biochar and activated carbon was also investigated by sequential extraction. Chitosan and iron-impregnated biochar had enhanced arsenic adsorption, but these sorbents turned the pH of solution acidic, while it was alkaline for activated carbon. Adsorption equilibrium times of arsenic and iron were faster for single than trinary heavy metal systems because less ion competition occurred at active sites. The Langmuir model fitted the adsorption data well. The maximum adsorption capacities of arsenic, iron, and manganese by bamboo biochar in trinary heavy metal system were 2.2568, 0.6393, and 1.3541 mg g−1, respectively. The main mechanism for arsenic removal was precipitation with iron. Bamboo biochar bound iron in organic and sulfide fractions and manganese with iron-oxide. Bamboo biochar can replace activated carbon as a more efficient and sustainable carbonaceous sorbent material for removal of mixed heavy metals from groundwater within acceptable pH ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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17 pages, 33112 KiB  
Article
Replacing Lime with Rice Husk Ash to Reduce Carbon Footprint of Bituminous Mixtures
by Raja Mistry, Tapash Kumar Roy, Sand Aldagari and Elham H. Fini
C 2023, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9020037 - 27 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2075
Abstract
There have been several emphasized pathways toward a reduction in carbon footprint in the built environment such as recycling, technologies with lower energy consumption, and alternative materials. Among alternative materials, bio-based materials and nature inspired solutions have been well-received. This study examines the [...] Read more.
There have been several emphasized pathways toward a reduction in carbon footprint in the built environment such as recycling, technologies with lower energy consumption, and alternative materials. Among alternative materials, bio-based materials and nature inspired solutions have been well-received. This study examines the merits of using rice husk ash as a replacement for lime; lime has a high carbon footprint mainly associated with the decomposition of calcium carbonate to calcium oxide to form lime. Lime is commonly used in bituminous composites for roadway construction to mitigate their susceptibility to moisture damage. Replacing lime with a low-carbon alternative could allow a reduction in CO2 equivalent of bituminous composites. This paper studies the merits of using rice husk ash (RHA) as a substitute for conventional hydrated lime (HL) in bituminous composites. It should be noted that rice industries burn rice husks in a boiler as fuel, generating a substantial volume of RHA. The disposal of this ash has major environmental impacts associated with the contamination of air and water. Here, we study physical and chemical characteristics of both HL and RHA for use in bitumen mixtures. This was followed by examining the extent of dispersion of each filler in bitumen via optical microscopy to ensure their uniform dispersion. The properties of the mixtures were further studied using the Marshall mix design method. It was found that a 25.67% increase in Marshall stability and a 5.95% decrease in optimum binder content were achieved when HL was replaced by RHA at 4% filler concentration. In addition, mixtures containing RHA exhibited higher resistance to cracking and permanent deformation compared to mixtures containing HL. Additionally, 4% RHA in the mix showed stripping resistance similar to the conventional mix with HL. The mixture with 4% RHA had a lower carbon footprint with enhanced economic and environmental impacts compared to the conventional mix with HL. The study results provide insights pertaining to the merits of bio-based materials to reduce the carbon footprint of pavements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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14 pages, 737 KiB  
Article
Agro-Industrial Waste Biochar Abated Nitrogen Leaching from Tropical Sandy Soils and Boosted Dry Matter Accumulation in Maize
by Michael Egyir, Innocent Yao Dotse Lawson, Daniel Etsey Dodor and Deogratius Luyima
C 2023, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9010034 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
This study was conducted to assess the effects of amending tropical sandy soils with biochar derived from agro-industrial wastes on the leaching and utilization of nitrogen (N) by maize. The experiment was conducted in pots in a greenhouse with two sandy soil types [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to assess the effects of amending tropical sandy soils with biochar derived from agro-industrial wastes on the leaching and utilization of nitrogen (N) by maize. The experiment was conducted in pots in a greenhouse with two sandy soil types and two different biochars. The biochars used in this experiment were preselected in a preliminary column experiment that assessed the N retention capacities of the different biochars and those that exhibited the best retention capacities chosen for experimentation. The biochars evaluated included saw dust, rice husk and corncob pyrolyzed at 500 °C and the results from the column leaching experiment showed that sawdust biochar had superior retention capacities for both NO3 and NH4+, followed by rice husk biochar. The pot experiment utilized sawdust and rice husk biochars applied at rates of 0, 20 and 40 t/ha to the soil treated with different N sources including cow dung and ammonium sulfate and growing maize on the amendments for two seasons with each season lasting for five weeks. The soils were leached on the 14th and 28th days after planting to determine the amount of leachable N. Biochar amendments reduced the leaching of NO3N and NH4+N with no significant differences observed between biochar types, but between soil types. The abatement of leaching by biochar amendments consequently enhanced N uptake by maize and dry matter production and thus, agro-industrial waste biochar amendment is recommended for reducing leaching in tropical sandy soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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24 pages, 3608 KiB  
Article
Efficient Removal of Tannic Acid from Olive Mill Wastewater Using Carbon Steel Slag
by Otmane Sarti, Fouad El Mansouri, El Habib Yahia, Emilia Otal, José Morillo and Mohamed Saidi
C 2023, 9(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9010032 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
Mediterranean countries experience a large production of olive oil, thus generating huge quantities of non-biodegradable vegetation waters. The discharge of these effluents into aquatic environments seriously affects the quality of surface waters. This study investigated the potential use of carbon steel slag (SS) [...] Read more.
Mediterranean countries experience a large production of olive oil, thus generating huge quantities of non-biodegradable vegetation waters. The discharge of these effluents into aquatic environments seriously affects the quality of surface waters. This study investigated the potential use of carbon steel slag (SS) as an adsorbent and improver for reducing olive mill wastewater (OMWW) toxicity. The elemental and structural characterization of SS was carried out using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP/EOS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis. OMWW characterization indicated that the effluent was acidic in nature, with a pH of 4.8, a higher conductivity reaching 14.92 mS/cm, higher COD of 157.31 g/L, rich in organic matter 112.33 g/L, and total phenolic compounds of 11.13 g/L. The neutralization capacity of SS was demonstrated by reducing the OMWW’s acidic character. Afterward, the adsorption of tannic acid (TA) was investigated using SS. Parameters such as contact time, initial TA concentration, adsorbent dosage, pH, and temperature were investigated. The kinetic study indicated that the adsorption of TA onto SS fitted well with the second pseudo-order (r = 0.99) and Elovich (r = 0.98) models, indicating that the adsorption of TA was mainly chemical and depends on the reactions of oxide hydrolysis and hydroxides dissolution. Moreover, Langmuir isotherm has greatly described the adsorption of TA on SS (R = 0.997), suggesting that the surface of SS is homogenous, and the adsorption occurs mainly in monolayer. The maximum adsorption capacity reached 714.28 mg/g, indicating the higher capacity of SS to reduce the polyphenolic compounds in OMWW. This study demonstrated that SS residue from the steelmaking industry could present a highly interesting material for OMWW remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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Review

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29 pages, 12143 KiB  
Review
Graphene-like Carbon Structure Synthesis from Biomass Pyrolysis: A Critical Review on Feedstock–Process–Properties Relationship
by Farhan Chowdhury Asif and Gobinda C. Saha
C 2023, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9010031 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6062
Abstract
Biomass pyrolysis is a promising route for synthesizing graphene-like carbon (GLC) structures, potentially offering a cost-effective and renewable alternative to graphene. This review paper responds to the call for highlighting the state of the art in GLC materials design and synthesis from renewable [...] Read more.
Biomass pyrolysis is a promising route for synthesizing graphene-like carbon (GLC) structures, potentially offering a cost-effective and renewable alternative to graphene. This review paper responds to the call for highlighting the state of the art in GLC materials design and synthesis from renewable biomass microwave pyrolysis. This paper includes an introduction of the microwave pyrolysis technology, information on feedstock variability and selection, discussion on the correlation between microwave pyrolysis process conditions and pyrolyzed product characteristics, and, more importantly, a section identifying any differences between pyrolyzing feedstock using the microwave pyrolysis method vs. conventional pyrolysis method. Furthermore, this work concludes by detailing the knowledge currently missing with the recommendation for future research/innovation directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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23 pages, 1243 KiB  
Review
Emerging Bio-Based Polymers from Lab to Market: Current Strategies, Market Dynamics and Research Trends
by Tomy Muringayil Joseph, Aparna Beena Unni, K. S. Joshy, Debarshi Kar Mahapatra, Józef Haponiuk and Sabu Thomas
C 2023, 9(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/c9010030 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6219
Abstract
Due to the rising worldwide demand for green chemicals, the bio-based polymer market is anticipated to expand substantially in the future. The synthesis of functional polymers has been a burgeoning area of research for decades. The primary driving force behind the development of [...] Read more.
Due to the rising worldwide demand for green chemicals, the bio-based polymer market is anticipated to expand substantially in the future. The synthesis of functional polymers has been a burgeoning area of research for decades. The primary driving force behind the development of bio-based polymers has been their compostability and biodegradability, which are critical given the public concern about waste. Significant advancements in the method for refining biomass raw materials towards the creation of bio-based construction materials and products are driving this rise. Bio-based polymers with this chemical structure are more flexible and adaptive, which allows them to attain their intended characteristics and functionalities. In commercial applications and healthcare and biotechnology, where completely manufactured, naturally occurring biomolecules are utilized and such polymers have the greatest impact. At the same time, limitations in polymer architectural control, biostability, and structural dynamics hinder the creation of biocompatible and functionally varied polymers. From this standpoint, the importance of functional biosynthetic polymers in the future years is highlighted, as well as new methods for addressing the aforementioned challenges. The article comprehensively highlighted the current strategies, market dynamics, and research trends of emerging Bio-Based Polymers. In addition, the most recent scientific breakthroughs in bio-based polymers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass—a Renewable Resource for Carbon Materials (2nd Edition))
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