Library

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Title: Membrane and Electrochemical Based Technologies for the Decontamination of Exploitable Streams Produced by Thermochemical Processing of Contaminated Biomass

Authors: Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, George Karagiannakis, Konstantinos Plakas, Vasileios Chatzis, George Skevis, Paola Giudicianni, Davide Amato, Pino Sabia, Nikolaos Boukis, Katharina Stoll

Publication Year: 2022

Proposed by: Nikolaos Boukis

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

Phytoremediation is an emerging concept for contaminated soil restoration via the use of resilient plants that can absorb soil contaminants. The harvested contaminated biomass can be thermochemically converted to energy carriers/chemicals, linking soil decontamination with biomass-to-energy and aligning with circular economy principles. Two thermochemical conversion steps of contaminated biomass, both used for contaminated biomass treatment/exploitation, are considered: Supercritical Water Gasification and Fast Pyrolysis. For the former, the vast majority of contaminants are transferred into liquid and gaseous effluents, and thus the application of purification steps is necessary prior to further processing. In Fast Pyrolysis, contaminants are mainly retained in the solid phase, but a part appears in the liquid phase due to fine solids entrainment. Contaminants include heavy metals, particulate matter, and hydrogen sulfide. The purified streams allow the in-process re-use of water for the Super Critical Water Gasification, the sulfur-free catalytic conversion of the fuel-rich gaseous stream of the same process into liquid fuels and recovery of an exploitable bio-oil rich stream from the Fast Pyrolysis. Considering the fundamental importance of purification/decontamination to exploit the aforementioned streams in an integrated context, a review of available such technologies is conducted, and options are shortlisted. Technologies of choice include polymeric-based membrane gas absorption for desulfurization, electrooxidation/electrocoagulation for the liquid product of Supercritical Water Gasification and microfiltration via ceramic membranes for fine solids removal from the Fast Pyrolysis bio-oil. Challenges, risks, and suitable strategies to implement these options in the context of biomass-to-energy conversion are discussed and recommendations are made.

2

Title: Steam assisted slow pyrolysis of contaminated biomasses: Effect of plant parts and process temperature on heavy metals fate

Authors: Corinna Maria Grottola, Fernando Stanzione, Massimo Fagnano, Nunzio Fiorentino, Paola Giudicianni, Raffaele Ragucci, Salvatore Faugno, Stefania Pindozzi

Publication Year: 2019

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

The post-treatment of biomass from phytoremediation is not yet a well-established practice due to the risk induced by the presence of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs). Pyrolysis is a thermochemical treat- ment that reduces the volume and weight of contaminated matter producing a combustible vapor phase and a solid residue (char). A key factor enhancing the economic and the environmental sustainability of biomass valorization through pyrolysis is the production of a market value char. A proper choice of the pyrolysis operating conditions should take into account the effect of final temperature on PTEs release, on the char physicochemical properties as well as on the mobility of retained PTEs.

In particular, in this work the influence of both the temperature and the plant parts is discussed (branches and leaves of Populus Nigra L. and rhizomes and culms of Arundo donax L.) on the release of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn in the temperature range 653–873 K under steam assisted slow pyrolysis conditions. The mobility of the heavy metals retained in the chars was also studied as well as the product yields, the gas composition and char porosity.

The results suggested that in presence of Cd it is necessary to operate at low-temperature (lower than 703 K) to obtain a heavy metals free vapor phase fuel, whereas in presence of one or more metals among Pb, Cu, and Zn, it is possible to conduct a pyrolytic treatment at higher temperatures, thus obtaining a char with high BET surface area and lower metals mobility.

3

Title: Pyrolysis for exploitation of biomasses selected for soil phytoremediation: Characterization of gaseous and solid products

Authors: Corinna Maria Grottola, Fernando Stanzione, Massimo Fagnano, Nunzio Fiorentino, Paola Giudicianni, Raffaele Ragucci, Salvatore Faugno, Stefania Pindozzi

Publication Year: 2017

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Biomass thermochemical conversion

Abstract

Biomasses to be used in the phytoremediation process are generally selected to match agronomic param- eters and heavy metals uptake ability. A proper selection can be made greatly effective if knowledge of the properties of the residual char from pyrolysis is available to identify possible valorization routes. In this study a comparative analysis of the yields and characteristics of char obtained from slow pyrolysis of five uncontaminated biomasses (Populus nigra, Salix alba, Fraxinus oxyphylla, Eucalyptus occidentalis and Arundo donax) was carried out under steam atmosphere to better develop char porosity. Moreover, the dependence of the properties of solid residue on the process final temperature was studied for E. occiden- talis in the temperature range of 688–967 K. The results demonstrate that, among the studied biomasses, chars from P. nigra and E. occidentalis have to be preferred for applications regulated by surface phenom- ena given their highest surface area (270–300 m2/g), whereas char from E. occidentalis is the best choice when the goal is to maximize energy recovery.

4

Title: OPERATIVE HANDBOOK For eco-compatible remediation of degraded soils

Authors: M.Fagnano, D. Ducci, L. Boccia, M. Rigillo, F. Terribile, A. Agrillo, et al.

Publication Year: 2017

Proposed by: Paola Giudicianni

Project Areas: Phytoremediation

Abstract

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5

Title: Identifying non-agricultural marginal lands as a route to sustainable bioenergy provision - A review and holistic definition

Authors: A.Hursthouse, E.João, P. Mellor, R.A.Lord, R.Thomas

Publication Year: 2020

Proposed by: Richard Lord

Project Areas: Biomass Availability

Abstract

Concerns regarding global food security, direct or indirect land use change from bioenergy production require a better understanding of the alternative landbanks that may exist. The potential of ‘marginal’ land, whether for food or fuel production, has been the subject of much previous research but is currently compromised by the lack of a clear, globally accepted definition. A critical omission in the plethora of existing explicit or implicit definitions in use is the lack of comprehensive or consistent inclusion of non-agricultural land types, here re-defined as those now rendered unsuitable, unacceptable or permanently unavailable for food purposes. The result is variable inclusion of such land types in different areal studies, uncertainty regarding the nature of any land identified as ‘marginal’, in turn leading to inconsistent estimates of the role they could play in the provision of sustainable bioenergy.

The purpose of this research is to review the full range of possible ‘marginal’ land resources, especially those which are non-agricultural so avoid food competition, from previously-developed brownfield land, to former landfills or old mineral workings. Literature examples are compared to determine which land types have actually been included and quantified. In these case studies, non-agricultural types may equal other marginal lands at country or provincial scale, becoming dominant in urban regions. An inclusive definition is proposed, together with a graphic classification scheme, to guide future studies and enable quantification of truly non-agricultural marginal land as a potential contribution to sustainable bioenergy provision as part of the net zero, circular economy.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101006717.