Coal Generation 2.0

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Digestate from biogas plants could also be resource

Under the leadership of the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering in Potsdam (ATB) from 2012, researchers are studying whether biochar is profit or not for soil and climate.

In the upcoming projects, researchers are also working with digestate from biogas plants, in order to generate biochar using hydrothermal carbonization. One goal is to optimize the production process: "How efficient carbon from the residual materials in the form of biochar is saved depends on the reaction temperature and the duration of the production process," says Jan Mumme from ATB, which features a biochar pilot plant operates. Biochar could be a kind of super fertilizer for exhausted soil, or could turn a turbine, the nutrient-poor areas in nutrient-rich. Biochar could also find use as an energy carrier.
Model Amazonia

The knowledge in itself is old. Indians in the Amazon basin dug in front of hundreds of years, for example, with charcoal-filled jars into the soil and the soil fertile over time or they could keep their fertility. The coal protected the soil, for example, better protection against nutrient leaching. The phenomenon is known as Terra Preta. Only then charcoal was used. Now it would be technically produced coal, brown coal from a high Bioren. Whether these same effects as the soil produces charcoal is still unclear.

For example, according to ATB first experiments show that the incorporation of biochar in soils can also cause negative effects on plant growth, including through unwanted impurities in coal production, such as phenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This could mean that the material before the injection into the ground once more be treated specifically.
Charring time-lapse

The hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) converts biomass into biochar under heat and pressure in order. In July, a number of companies and research institutions, the founding of the Federation Hydrothermal carbonization eV (BV-HTC) announced. The founding member SunCoal Industries Ltd. announced late last year that it will deliver the Energiecontractor GeTeG AG in Magdeburg in 2012 20,000 tons annually Bio coal dust. SunCoal can thus build its first industrial production. She is in Ludwigsfelde, about 20 kilometers south of Berlin, built (RENEWABLE ENERGY 12/2010). With the HTC process SunCoal of the biomass in water to about 200 degrees Celsius is heated. 20 times the atmospheric pressure prevents the material vaporizes. Within hours, a brown coal produced with a carbon content of 70 percent. Which can be admixed in coal combustion. But the zeitgeist is like many other drugs which bind carbon dioxide somehow, even from the first clean bill of biochar as a climate change agent.
View of manufacturing

To what extent biochar makes sense, for example, logistically (ie the material, for example, to collect biogas plants) and energy (biomass to turn into biochar), which could give also the subject of various investigations in 2012 under the auspices of the ATB to be. It will work with partners along the entire value chain, the potential of biochar to examine and explore both the production techniques.

The projects and project topics:
"Biochar in agriculture - perspectives for Germany and Malaysia" project partners: The Leibniz Institute ATB, Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and the Technical University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Putra Malaysia . Funded through funding from the Pact for Research and Innovation of the Federal Ministry of Research BMBF. Beginning of the project is March 2012. The project runs for 3 years.

COST Action TD1107: "Biochar for sustainable resource management" should create new applications for biochar at European level. It links Europe-wide research activities. New markets for biochar in agriculture and industry should be developed. Is coordinated by the Martin Luther University in Halle. The network includes 23 partners from 15 European countries are involved. Project duration: 4 years.

"APECS - Anaerobic Pathways to Renewable Energies and Carbon Sinks" explored the production of biochar. Since 2009, is funded for a period of five years by the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF).

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