Forest maintenance operations are the gold standard in wildfire prevention. However, these operations generate huge amounts of residual forest biomass (RFB) that cannot be legally disposed in land and further require suitable management.
RFB includes highly flammable plants, such as gorse, broom, invasive species (e.g. acacia), which proliferation and accumulation promotes the occurrence of wildfires. Besides deleterious impacts on the rural and forestry economy, wildfires are also a driver for desertification and soil degradation of its quality.read more
What is pyrolysis?
Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process (combination of thermal and chemical processes) similar to combustion, but carried out in the absence of oxygen. The pyrolysis process allows the generation of three products: solid (biochar), liquid (bio-oils) and gases.During pyrolysis, the volatile matter of the biomass is released to the gas phase, thus remaining a solid fraction (biochar) where most of the inorganic content of the raw biomass is embedded onto a carbon-rich matrix.In this process, it is prevented that the inorganic substances of the biomass are transformed into ash, as in the combustion and gasification processes.
What are the advantages of biochar?
As pyrolysis is carried out without oxygen and flame, much of the physicochemical structure of the original biomass remains intact in the resulting solid.
The efficient use of residual forest biomass in pyrolysis processes requires the development of innovative solutions to optimize the process in energy and environmental terms.
Campus Universitário Santiago
Departamento de Ambiente e Ordenamento (DAO)