Pyrolysis process of agricultural waste using CO2for waste management, energy recovery, and biochar fabrication

Jechan Lee, Xiao Yang, Seong Heon Cho, Jae Kon Kim, Sang Soo Lee, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Yong Sik Ok, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

163 Citations (Scopus)


In order to scrutinize the genuine role of CO2in the biomass pyrolysis, all pyrogenic products such as syngas, pyrolytic oil (i.e., tar), and biochar generated from pyrolysis of red pepper stalk in N2and CO2were characterized. Thermo-gravimetric analysis confirmed that during the thermolysis of red pepper stalk, the magnitude of exothermic reaction in CO2from 220 to 400 °C was substantially different from that in N2, resulting in the different extents of carbonization. The physico-chemical properties of biochar produced in CO2were varied compared to biochar produced in N2. For example, the surface area of biochar produced in CO2was increased from 32.46 to 109.15 m2g−1. This study validates the role of CO2not only as expediting agent for the thermal cracking of volatile organic carbons (VOCs) but also as reacting agent with VOCs. This genuine influence of CO2in pyrolysis of red pepper stalk led to enhanced generation of syngas, which consequently reduced tar production because VOCs evolving from devolatilization of biomass served as substrates for syngas via reaction between CO2and VOCs. The enhanced generation of CO reached up to 3000 and 6000% at 600 and 690 °C, respectively, whereas 33.8% tar reduction in CO2was identified at 600 °C.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Bio-refinery
  • Biochar
  • Syngas
  • Thermo-chemical process
  • Waste-to-energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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