Reverse engineering of biochar


Morales VL, Pérez-Reche FJ, Hapca SM, Hanley KL, Lehmann J & Zhang W (2015) Reverse engineering of biochar. Bioresource Technology, 183, pp. 163-174.

This study underpins quantitative relationships that account for the combined effects that starting biomass and peak pyrolysis temperature have on physico-chemical properties of biochar. Meta-data was assembled from published data of diverse biochar samples (n= 102) to (i) obtain networks of intercorrelated properties and (ii) derive models that predict biochar properties. Assembled correlation networks provide a qualitative overview of the combinations of biochar properties likely to occur in a sample. Generalized Linear Models are constructed to account for situations of varying complexity, including: dependence of biochar properties on single or multiple predictor variables, where dependence on multiple variables can have additive and/or interactive effects; non-linear relation between the response and predictors; and non-Gaussian data distributions. The web-tool Biochar Engineering implements the derived models to maximize their utility and distribution. Provided examples illustrate the practical use of the networks, models and web-tool to engineer biochars with prescribed properties desirable for hypothetical scenarios. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

physico-chemical properties; slow-pyrolysis; correlation networks; generalized linear models; web-tool

Bioresource Technology: Volume 183

FundersTeresa Heinz Foundation for Environmental Research and Project Unicorn
Publication date31/05/2015
Publication date online18/02/2015
Date accepted by journal10/02/2015
PublisherElsevier BV