Prof Girault and team find ways to generate syngas and biochar with flash lamps

Banana split: biomass splitting with flash light irradiation

Biomass splitting with flash light irradiation

Biomass splitting into gases and solids using flash light irradiation is introduced as an efficient photothermal process to photo-pyrolyze dried natural biomass powders to valuable syngas and conductive porous carbon (biochar). The photo-thermal reactions are carried out in a few milliseconds (14.5 ms) by using a high-power Xenon flash lamp. Here, dried banana peel is used as a model system and each kg of dried biomass generates ca. 100 L of hydrogen and 330 g of biochar. Carbon monoxide and some light hydrocarbons are also generated providing a further increase in the high heating value (HHV) with an energy balance output of 4.09 MJ per kg of dried biomass. Therefore, biomass photo-pyrolysis by flash light irradiation is proposed as a new approach not only to convert natural biomass wastes into energy, such as hydrogen, but also for carbon mitigation, which can be stored or used as biochar.


Meet The Researcher

Name: Hubert Girault
Institution: École Polytechnique Fedérale de Lausanne

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