CHARCOAL FROM ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS FOR USE AS ENERGY CARRIER OR REDUCING AGENT: A REVIEW OF KEY FINDINGS IN EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS

Kusch-Brandt, S.
Abstract:
According to FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global annual charcoal production amounts to 52 million metric tons. Around half of the population in South America depends on forest-sourced resources (firewood, charcoal) to cover their basic energy needs, and in some countries large-scale industrial charcoal usage is further common, e.g. in Brazil in the production of pig iron for steel. To limit adverse impacts on forest health, sustainability of charcoal production merits high attention. One approach is to focus on usage of alternative materials such as organic wastes and residues. A desktop study was implemented to explore experiences with charcoal production with alternative materials in Europe and the Americas, primarily under the lens of potential usage of such charcoal as energy carrier or reducing agent in iron and steel making or similar applications. Research findings illustrate that a large variety of biomass types can today be converted into charcoal. However, this does not necessarily mean that the obtained output indeed represents a product that can easily substitute conventional energy carriers. One challenge is that charcoal production with alternative materials (biomass other than wood) typically yields an output characterized by a high number of single particles. When substituting coal in steel making, charcoal shows a different performance in the process, which requires attention. Key differences can be identified when comparing charcoal supply chains and charcoal utilization patterns in South America to the situation in Europe and Northern America. Informal activities are more common in South America. Charcoal markets and their dynamics are less transparent, and documentation is less complete. Usage of wood residues to produce charcoal is more widespread than commonly assumed. One issue in this context is that charcoal statistics do not usually disclose the quality of the used raw material, and charcoal produced from wood might refer to raw wood, but it might also include charcoal made from wood residues.
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2018
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
charcoal; biochar; organic wastes and residues; wood residues; iron and steel making
Volume:
18
SGEM Book title:
18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2018
Book number:
4.1
SGEM Series:
International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference-SGEM
Pages:
203-210
Publisher address:
51 Alexander Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
Bulgarian Acad Sci; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Slovak Acad Sci; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; World Acad Sci; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Ac
Period:
02-08 July, 2018
ISBN:
978-619-7408-44-7
ISSN:
1314-2704
Conference:
18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2018, 02-08 July, 2018
DOI:
10.5593/sgem2018/4.1/S17.027
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