CelluloseLignocellulosic biomass feedstocks are the most abundant type of biomass. They are primarily composed of lignin and the polysaccharides cellulose and hemicellulose, along with smaller amounts of extractives and ash.
HemicelluloseWhile cellulose is a homopolymer composed of only one sugar (glucose), hemicellulose is a complex polysaccharide that can contain other sugars. There are a number of different types of hemicellulose, these differ according to the sugar units that constitute the main backbone of the polymer as well as according to the amount and composition of the side-groups attached to this backbone.
Ligninlignin is a highly heterogeneous cross-linked polymer composed of aromatic subunits. It has a higher carbon content than cellulose and hemicellulose and also experiences a more gradual profile for decomposition than these polymers, with the temperature range being 250 to 500 oC. There are characteristic differences in lignin composition between hardwoods, softwoods, and herbaceous feedstocks.
ExtractivesExtractives are defined as extraneous components that may be separated from the insoluble cell wall material by their solubility in water or neutral organic solvents. Solvents of different polarities are required to remove different types of extractives. Hence the extractives are often classified according to which solvent can extract them (e.g. ethanol-soluble-extractives).
ProteinDifferent proteins have varying thermal stabilities and undergo different thermal degradation pathways during pyrolysis. Furthermore, the presence of nitrogen-containing compounds resulting from protein pyrolysis can have implications for the use of biochar as a soil amendment. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth, and biochar produced from nitrogen-rich biomass can be a source of plant-available nitrogen in soil. However, the availability of nitrogen from biochar can vary depending on the pyrolysis conditions and the specific nitrogen-containing compounds formed during pyrolysis.
AshAsh wil be retaining in the biochar as it will not become volatile under the conditions employed for slow-pyrolysis. However, during pyrolysis, ash does undergo thermal transformation, which leads to the formation of a range of compounds, including oxides, carbonates, and silicates. At higher temperatures, ash undergoes more rapid thermal transformation, leading to a higher yield of oxides and silicates. Conversely, at lower temperatures, ash undergoes slower thermal transformation, leading to a higher yield of carbonates.
Major and Minor Elements
Ultimate Analysis and Protein Content
Our Biomass Detective! Designs, tests, optimizes and validates robust analytical methods for properties of relevance to the various biochar market applications.
PhD (Analytical Chemistry)
Dreamer and achiever. Took Celignis from a concept in a research project to being the bioeconomy's premier provider of analytical and bioprocessing expertise.
Has taken a major role in developing Celignis's capabilities for biochar analysis and project development. His thesis covered the evaluation of high value applications for high-carbon materials.