Journal article Open Access

Combustion Characteristics of Hydrochar and Pyrochar Derived from Digested Sewage Sludge

Pablo J. Arauzo; María Atienza-Martínez; Javier Ábrego; Maciej P. Olszewski; Zebin Cao; Andrea Kruse

In this paper, hydrochars and pyrochars were produced at 260 °C under different residence times (2 and 4 h) using anaerobic digested sewage sludge (SSL) as initial feedstock. The effect of reaction time on the fuel properties of hydrochars and pyrochars was evaluated. Moreover, the combustion kinetics of raw SSL and the derived pyrochars and hydrochars without coal blending were determined at two different air flows (20 and 90 mL/min) and compared. In the same conditions, the yield of hydrochar was significantly lower than that of pyrochar, confirming the different reaction pathways followed in each process. The results showed hydrochars have lower carbon recovery and energy yield than pyrochars, making the latter more suitable for energy purposes. The thermogravimetric combustion study showed that both thermochemical treatments increased the ignition temperature but decreased the burnout temperature, which results in higher stability during handling and storage. However, raw SSL is better for combustion than hydrochar according to the combustibility index. In addition, the kinetic study showed that the activation energy of the combustion of biochars, especially pyrochar, is lower than that of raw SSL, which is advantageous for their combustion.

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