Sustainable gasification biochar as a high efficiency adsorbent for CO2 capture: A facile method to designer biochar fabrication

Pavani Dulanja Dissanayake, Seung Wan Choi, Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Xiao Yang, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Chi Hwa Wang, Harn Wei Kua, Ki Bong Lee, Yong Sik Ok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Biochars can be a potential means of CO2 capture if designed with hierarchical structures and suitable surface properties. Objective of this research was to assess the effectiveness of KOH activation and a combination of KOH and CO2 activation for enhancing the CO2 adsorption capacity of gasification biochar. Biochars were produced with either 100% wood chips (W) or a mixture of 70% wood chips and 30% chicken manure (WCM) through gasification, and then activated using either 1 M KOH (sample label appended with “K”) or 1 M KOH and 500 mL CO2 min−1 at 850 °C (sample label appended with “KC”). The pristine and activated biochars were evaluated in terms of physicochemical properties, CO2 adsorption capacity at 25 °C, adsorption kinetics, and regeneration ability. The WCMK biochar exhibited the highest CO2 adsorption capacity (2.92 mol/kg) with highest surface area (1408 m2/g), micropore area (690.18 m2/g), and micropore volume (0.36 cm3/g). WKC and WK showed comparable CO2 adsorptions, both of which were lower than that of WCMK. Both WCMK and WKC showed considerable selectivity for CO2 over N2, fast adsorption and excellent regeneration abilities over 10 consecutive adsorption-desorption cycles. Activation of biochar, either with KOH or KOH + CO2, enhanced its CO2 adsorption capacity due to an increase in surface area and microporosity, irrespective of the feedstock type. However, hydrophobicity, and aromaticity of biochar and presence of hetero atoms (N and S) also positively influenced CO2 adsorption capacity of biochar. Both KOH and KOH + CO2 activation will be promising options for enhancing CO2 adsorption capacity of pristine biochar irrespective of the feedstock type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109785
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Black carbon
  • Charcoal
  • Engineered biochar
  • Gas sorption and separation
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Waste valorization and sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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