Critical impacts of pyrolysis conditions and activation methods on application-oriented production of wood waste-derived biochar

Mingjing He, Zibo Xu, Yuqing Sun, P. S. Chan, Iris Lui, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Wood waste-derived biochar with tunable carbon structure and surface functionality has a great potential for various environmental applications and circular economy; however, a holistic understanding on the application-oriented production of high-efficacy biochar is lacking. Thus, the co-impacts of different pyrolysis conditions (temperature and duration) and activation methods (steam, CO2, and acid pretreatment) on the biochar properties were first investigated. A temperature of 650 ℃ was effective in forming carbonized structure in biochar, while 750 ℃ was critical for the porous structure development. A longer pyrolysis duration (>60 min) enhanced the pore volume without compromising the yield. The activated biochar exhibited a larger pore volume (2.1- to 2.9-fold of pristine biochar) for potential high-end emerging applications. The acid pretreatment effectively removed dissolved organic carbon and most metals from the biochar. This study provides an essential guidance on the fit-for-purpose designs of biochar production conditions for sustainable wood waste management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125811
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Activation method
  • Engineered biochar
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Pyrolysis condition
  • Sustainable waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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