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Utilisation of Wastes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background

Carbolea is looking to gain maximal value from the waste streams that currently exist. These include agricultural wastes and municipal solid waste (MSW). MSW is mostly composed of an organic, biodegradeable fraction, termed biodegradable municipal waste (BMW).

The Landfill Directive sets progressive targets to reduce the amount of BMW land-filled, when compared against the amount produced in the baseline year of 1995. Ireland is currently some way behind meeting the first target for 2010 and further action is required over time to meet more stringent targets.

One of the currently favoured methods for reducing the quantity of BMW and all municipal solid waste is incineration. It is forecasted that the incinerator planned for Poolbeg (which will process 600,000 wet tonnes of MSW of which 225,300 dry tonnes are expected to be BMW) will produce a net output of approximately 54MW of electricity. It is appropriate to consider alternative waste treatment technologies that may offer higher revenue streams. Carbolea recognises biorefining and pyrolysis as such technologies.

Biodegradable waste is predominately lignocellulosic and so can potenitally be converted under conventional biorefining or pyrolysis pathways. Regarding MSW, the principal other component beyond the BMW is plastic which, while unsuitable for hydrolytic biorefining processes, can have utility in thermochemical biorefining technologies or in pyrolysis schemes. Plastic has a highly attractive heating value and may therefore offer high end-product yields in a process dedicated for it rather than in an incineration scheme. This is because incineration processes are hindered by the requirement to process a highly heterogeneous MSW waste stream. Carbolea recognises that higher value products may be released from MSW if it is effectively segregated with the most appropriate technologies selected for each fraction.

Carbolea is undertaking a highly comprehensive protocol of chemical analysis of all waste feedstocks of relevance to biorefining or pyrolysis technologies. This is something that is critically lacking in Ireland. This will then inform a holistic evaluation of the viability of using these feedstocks in such processes. The research group is also utilising these materials in a gasification/pyrolysis unit and will monitor their performance and yields under a wide range of conditions. It is believed that suitable conditions could allow the production of a highly valuable biochar, just as the Amazonian Indians produced their highly productive Terra Preta soils from pyrolysis of their own MSW.

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Material/Downloads

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Summary Statistics

Carbolea
Total

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

Total
for Last
5 Years

Journal Papers

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

Book Chapters

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Conference Papers

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Presentations

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

Posters

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Videos

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Reports

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Patents

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

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Journal Articles

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Troy S.M., Nolan T., Leahy J.J., Lawlor P.G., Healy M.G., Kwapinski W. (2013) Effect of sawdust addition and composting of feedstock on renewable energy and biochar production from pyrolysis of anaerobically digested pig manure, Biomass and Bioenergy

Novotny E.H., Auccaise R., Velloso M.H.R., Corrêa J.C., Higarashi M.M., Abreu V.M.N., Rocha J.D., Kwapinski W. (2012) Characterization of phosphate structures in biochar from swine bones, Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira 47:672-676

Click for abstract
The objective of this work was to develop an alternative methodology to study and characterize the phosphate crystalline properties, directly associated with solubility and plant availability, in biochar from swine bones. Some phosphate symmetry properties of pyrolyzed swine bones were established, using solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, principal component analysis, and multivariate curve resolution analysis, on four pyrolyzed samples at different carbonization intensities. Increasing carbonization parameters (temperature or residence time) generates diverse phosphate structures, increasing their symmetry and decreasing the crossed polarizability of the pair 1H-31P, producing phosphates with, probably, lower solubility than the ones produced at lower carbonization intensity. Additionally, a new methodology is being developed to study and characterize phosphate crystalline properties directly associated with phosphate solubility and availability to plants.


Troy S.M., Nolan T., Kwapinski W.Leahy J.J., Healy M.G., Lawlora P.G. (2012) Effect of sawdust addition on composting of separated raw and anaerobically digested pig manure, Journal of Environmental Management 111:70-77

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Manures need the addition of carbon-rich bulking agents to conserve N during composting, which increases the cost of the composting process. The recommended proportion of manure/sawdust, based on a carbon (C):nitrogen (N) ratio, is approximately 3:2. Two composting experiments were conducted to determine the impact of varying the proportion of sawdust to either separated raw, or separated anaerobically digested pig manures. To determine stability and maturity of the final compost, oxygen uptake rate (OUR) and germination index (GI) tests were conducted. For both experiments, three treatments were employed: manure-only (Treatment A), manure/sawdust mixed 4:1, fresh weight (Treatment B), and manure/sawdust mixed 3:2, fresh weight (Treatment C). The mixtures were composted in tumblers for 56 days with regular turning. The composting material was tested over the study duration for temperature, pH, water content, organic matter, C:N ratio and bulk density. For both Treatments B and C, the GI indicated low levels of phytotoxicity, and OUR values were lower than the recommended Irish threshold of 13 mmol O(2) kg OM(-1) h(-1), indicating that a high quality compost was produced. The proportion of sawdust to separated manure used can be reduced to make a cost saving, while still producing a stable end-product: 60% less sawdust is required to compost at a manure-to-sawdust ratio of 4:1 compared to the previously recommended ratio of 3:2.


Kwapinski, W.Byrne, C. M. P.Kryachko, E., Wolfram, P., Adley, C., Novotny, E., Hayes, M. H. B. (2010) Biochar from Biomass and Waste, Waste and Biomass Valorization 1(2):177-189

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There is an increasing realisation that biomass and organic wastes are valuable feedstocks for second generation biorefining processes that give rise to platform chemicals to substitute for dwindling petrochemical resources, and for pyrolysis processes that produce syngas, bio-oil, and biochar from biomass, organic wastes, and the biorefining residuals of the future. The experimental work described has focused on physical properties and compositions of biochars produced from miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), willow (Salix spp) and pine (Pinus sylvestris) at 500°C and at 400, 500, and 600°C in the case of the miscanthus. Although the morphologies of the cell structures were maintained in the pyrolysis, the surface area of the miscanthus biochar was greatly increased by heating at 600°C for 60 min. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectra showed the disappearance of evidence for the carbohydrate and lignin plant components as the pyrolysis temperature was raised, and the compositions of miscanthus biochars after heating for 10 and for 60 min at 600°C were very similar and composed of fused aromatic structures and with no traces of the aliphatic components in the starting materials. In greenhouse and growth chamber experiments the growth of maize (Zea mays L) seedlings was found to be inhibited by soil amendments with biochar from miscanthus formed at 400°C for 10 min, but stimulated by miscanthus char formed at 600°C for 60 min. In the course of discussion the relevance of the results obtained is related to the roles that soil amendments with biochar can have on soil fertility, carbon sequestration, on the emissions of greenhouse gases from soil, on fertilizer requirements, and on waste management. It is clear that biochar soil amendments can have definite agronomic and environmental benefits, but it will be essential to have clear guidelines for biochar production from various feedstocks and under varying pyrolysis parameters. It will be equally important to have a classification system for biochars that clearly indicate the product compositions that will meet acceptable standards. A case can be made for sets of standard biochars from different substrates that meet the required criteria.


Hayes, D. J.Hayes, M. H. B. (2009) The role that lignocellulosic feedstocks and various biorefining technologies can play in meeting Ireland’s biofuel targets, Biofpr 3(5):500-520

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This paper considers the contribution that biorefineries, through the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic feedstocks, can make in the Republic of Ireland to the mandated 10% transport biofuel quotient for 2020. An emphasis is placed on the avoidance of land-use conflict issues and, hence, on the prioritization of waste/residue utilization before dedicated energy crops are grown. It is concluded that up to 5.3% of the 2010 demand for biofuels can be met from the utilization of feasible quantities of wastes and residues in near-term biorefining technologies and that 5% of the 2020 petrol and diesel demand can be met via processing a similar quantity of waste in advanced biorefining processes based on consolidated bioprocessing micro-organisms and syngas-reforming catalysts. The remaining biofuel requirements for 2020 can be met by processing energy crops. Between 1.4% and 15.9% of the agricultural area of Ireland is required for the production of these crops, depending on the particular feedstock and technology employed. The production of a high-yielding Miscanthus crop that is harvested directly after senescence will place the minimum requirement on Irish land.

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Book Chapters

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Hayes, D. J.Hayes, M. H. B., Daly, M. M. (2006) Operação inovadora de biorrefino para produção de oleos combustiveis e de quimico-platforma a partir de carboidratos de biomassa e de residuos diversos,  Usos alternativos da palhada residual da produção de sementes para pastagens, F. H. D. de Souza, E. B. Pott, O. Primavesi, A. C. C. Bernardi, EMBRAPA, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil:161-191


Presentations

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Hayes, D. J. M.  (2012) DIBANET, An integrated approach for making the best use of biomass, 1st Iberoamerican Congress on Biorefineries, Los Cabos, Mexico, Oct 24-26
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Hayes, M.H.B. (2012) Production of platform chemicals in the DIBANET Project using novel pre-treatment methods and acid hydrolysis, Congress of Bioenergy, Xi’an, China, April 27th

Hayes, D. J. M. (2012) Collaboration in Biorefinery Research Between Europe and Latin America, III Latin American Congress Biorefineries, Pucon, Chile, 19-21 Nov
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Wnetrzak R.Leahy J.J., Peters K., Jensen L.S., Kwapinski W. (2012) Energy production potentials from pyrolysis of pig manure, 4th International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste , San Servolo, Venice, Italy, Nov. 12-15

Hayes, D. J. M. (2010) Pyrolysis and the Production and Utilisation of Biochar, EPA Waste to Resource Conference, Dublin, Ireland, Sep. 27th 2010
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Hayes, D. J. (2010) European feedstocks, DIBANET Networking Day, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec 13 2010
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Reports

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Hayes, D. J. M. (2012) Review of Biomass Feedstocks and Guidelines of Best Practice, DIBANET WP2 Report:150 pages

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This document is the result of the evaluation of biomass feedstocks, from Europe and Latin America, that took place as part of the DIBANET project. That project is co-financed from the 7 th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Demonstration of the European Union. (Title: Enhancing international cooperation between the EU and Latin America in the field of biofuels; Grant Agreement No: 227248-2).

The work in Task 2.1 of Work Package 2 (WP2) at DIBANET partners UL, CTC, and UNICAMP involved evaluating, on a number of levels, potential feedstocks for utilisation in the DIBANET acid-hydrolysis process (WP3). In the early stage of the project a wide number of feedstocks were examined and relevant secondary compositional data were sought from the literature. Selected feedstocks were analysed at the laboratories of UL, CTC, and UNICAMP and, from these, a limited number of feedstocks were subjected to more in-depth analysis/evaluation.

Work at UL focused on Miscanthus, cereal straws, and waste papers. The wet-chemical and spectroscopic analysis that was carried out on a wide number of Miscanthus samples have allowed for in-depth understandings to be reached regarding the changes in lignocellulosic composition, and potential biomass/biofuel yields that could be realised over the harvest window. Straws present much less chemical variation but have enough structural carbohydrates to warrant their processing in the DIBANET technology. Waste papers can have amongst the highest total carbohydrate contents of any of the feedstocks studied.

Work at CTC focused on the residues of the sugarcane industry – sugarcane bagasse and sugarcane trash (field residues from harvesting). A large number of samples were collected from a variety of sugar mills and plantations. It has been seen that there can be a significant variation in the composition of different bagasse samples, particularly with regards to the ash content. Sugarcane trash has lower total carbohydrates contents than bagasse but is still a suitable feedstock for DIBANET.

Work at UNICAMP focused on the evaluation of residues from the banana, coffee, and coconut industries. It was found that these also have potential for utilisation in the DIBANET process, however the value of the residues for this end-use is dependent on which part of the plant is utilised. For instance, coffee husks have sufficient structural carbohydrates to allow for decent yields of levulinic acid, formic acid, and furfural in DIBANET, however the leaves of the coffee plant do not. Leaves from the banana plant are also of less value for DIBANET than the other parts of the plant (e.g. stem).

A major output of this Deliverable is the downloadable electronic database that contains all of the WP2 analytical data obtained during the course of the project. It contains analytical data and predicted biorefining yields for a total of 1,281 samples. It can be obtained, free of charge, from the DIBANET website and will be a valuable tool for stakeholders in biorefining projects.

This document presents the data and evaluations that were made regarding biomass feedstocks, and also puts forward “guidelines of best practice” in terms of making the best use of these resources. A shortened version of this document can also be downloaded from the DIBANET website.

Download the short version

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Hayes, D. J. M. (2011) Analysis of Lignocellulosic Feedstocks for Biorefineries with a Focus on The Development of Near Infrared Spectroscopy as a Primary Analytical Tool, PhD Thesis:832 pages (over 2 volumes)

Click for abstract
The 2 volumes of the thesis can also be downloaded separately.

Volume 1, Volume 2, Viva Presentation

Abstract:

The processing of lignocellulosic materials in modern biorefineries will allow for the production of transport fuels and platform chemicals that could replace petroleum-derived products. However, there is a critical lack of relevant detailed compositional information regarding feedstocks relevant to Ireland and Irish conditions. This research has involved the collection, preparation, and the analysis, with a high level of precision and accuracy, of a large number of biomass samples from the waste and agricultural sectors. Not all of the waste materials analysed are considered suitable for biorefining; for example the total sugar contents of spent mushroom composts are too low. However, the waste paper/cardboard that is currently exported from Ireland has a chemical composition that could result in high biorefinery yields and so could make a significant contribution to Ireland’s biofuel demands.

Miscanthus was focussed on as a major agricultural feedstock. A large number of plants have been sampled over the course of the harvest window (October to April) from several sites. These have been separated into their anatomical fractions and analysed. This has allowed observations to be made regarding the compositional trends observed within plants, between plants, and between harvest dates. Projections are made regarding the extents to which potential chemical yields may vary. For the DIBANET hydrolysis process that is being developed at the University of Limerick, per hectare yields of levulinic acid from Miscanthus could be 20% greater when harvested early compared with a late harvest.

The wet-chemical analysis of biomass is time-consuming. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has been developed as a rapid primary analytical tool with separate quantitative models developed for the important constituents of Miscanthus, peat, and (Australian) sugarcane bagasse. The work has demonstrated that accurate models are possible, not only for dry homogenous samples, but also for wet heterogeneous samples. For glucose (cellulose) the root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) for wet samples is 1.24% and the R2 for the validation set (R_val^2) is 0.931. High accuracies are even possible for minor analytes; e.g. for the rhamnose content of wet Miscanthus samples the RMSEP is 0.03% and the R_val^2 is 0.845. Accurate models have also been developed for pre-treated Miscanthus samples and are discussed. In addition, qualitative models have been developed. These allow for samples to be discriminated for on the basis of plant fraction, plant variety (giganteus/non-giganteus), harvest-period (early/late), and stand-age (one-year/older).

Quantitative NIRS models have also been developed for peat, although the heterogeneity of this feedstock means that the accuracies tend to be lower than for Miscanthus. The development of models for sugarcane bagasse has been hindered, in some cases, by the limited chemical variability between the samples in the calibration set. Good models are possible for the glucose and total sugars content, but the accuracy of other models is poorer. NIRS spectra of Brazilian bagasse samples have been projected onto these models, and onto those developed for Miscanthus, and the Miscanthus models appear to provide a better fit than the Australian bagasse models.

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Hayes, D. J. (2004) An Examination of Irish Feedstocks for Biorefineries, PhD Transfer Thesis:298 pages
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Projects

Current Projects

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DIBANET

Carbolea is co-ordinating a large FP7 project that involves close collaboration between 13 partners, 7 from Latin America and 6 from Europe. The focus of this project is on the sustainable production of diesel miscible biofuels from the residues and wastes of both regions.

 

 


EPA Funded - Analysis of Irish Waste Materials

The EPA STRIVE programme has funded a project that will allow Carbolea researchers to analyse, in detail, the various waste materials that arise in Ireland. The laboratory analysis will be geared towards looking for components relevant to hydrolysis or thermochemical biorefining technologies. Near Infrared Spectroscopy will also be integrated into the analytical protocol and its utility in the rapid analysis of waste will be assessed. The primary compositional data will inform a comparison between utilising these waste materials in biorefineries compare with more traditional means of waste treatment.

 

 


ReUseWaste

ReUseWaste is an Initial Training Network project funded under the Marie Curie action of the EU-FP7-PEOPLE-2011 program. It brings together major EU research groups, agri-environmental technology companies and public authorities from regions of intensive livestock production in Europe. The ReUseWaste network will train a group of young researchers in developing new technologies for socially and environmentally sustainable utilisation of resources in animal waste.

 

 


Char Production, Characterisation and Optimisation

A major project is underway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, involving the production of biochar and the analysis of its properties and how these influence its utility as a plant growth promoter, pollution remediant, and means for sequestering atmospheric carbon.

 

 


Personnel Involved

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Post-Doc

Post Doc. working on the analysis of biomass and the development of Near Infrared Spectroscopy as a primary analytical tool. Has a leading role in the DIBANET project.


Adjunct Professor

Expertise in soil and carbohydrate chemistry. Has lectured extensively on biorefining and biochar.


Senior Lecturer

An expert in analytical chemistry, biodiesel, and biomass combustion, pyrolysis, and gasification. Member of the Charles Parsons Initiative.


PhD Student

PhD student, from Colombia but undertaking a full PhD at Carbolea, funded by the DIBANET Latin American Scholarship scheme. Her research focuses on novel biomass pretreatment techniques.


PhD Student

PhD student working on the pyrolysis and gasification of waste biomass and its efficiency.


News Articles

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19 Nov 2012

Daniel Hayes Presents at III Latin American Congress on Biorefineries

Today Carbolea Member Daniel Hayes gave a presentation entitled "Collaboration in Biorefinery Research Between Europe and Latin America" at the III Latin American Congress on Biorefineries in Pucon, Chile. This talk covered the work that Carbolea has undertaken as part of the DIBANET project.

The presentation can be accessed here.


31 Oct 2012

DIBANET Networking Day Held in Thessaloniki, Greece

The DIBANET research consortium presented the "Diesel miscible fuels from wastes, residues and non-food crops of Latin America & Europe" Networking event today at CERTH, in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The aim of the event was to bring together key players in scientific communities and industry to discuss how Europe and Latin America can work together to produce diesel fuels sustainably and cheaply. The DIBANET processes and the key results of the project were presented.

The presentations and posters are available in the "Agenda" and "Poster" sections of the DIBANET website.


29 Oct 2012

Final DIBANET Project Meeting Held in Thessaloniki, Greece

The final meeting of the DIBANET project was held between 29-31 October at the headquarters of project partner CERTH in Thessaloniki, Greece.

This meeting allowed for partners to put forward the excellent results that have been achieved in the project and to also discuss the final area remaining; the financial and technical modelling of the DIBANET process chain.


25 Jun 2012

DIBANET Project Meeting Held at Carbolea

A review meeting for the EU FP7 project DIBANET was held at Carbolea. This was attended by numerous project partners from Europe and Latin America. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to present the recent progress made and to discuss ways in which this can be moved forward in a commercial context. The meeting also involved an excursion to the operational DIBANET pilot reactor system. Some photos are included below.


28 May 2010

Carbolea's Biochar Research Accepted for Publication

A paper by members of Carbolea entitled “Biochar from Biomass and Waste” has been published in the new journal Waste and Biomass Valorization. This paper examines the roles that soil amendments with biochar can have on soil fertility, carbon sequestration, on the emissions of greenhouse gases from soil, on fertilizer requirements, and on waste management. Results from Carbolea research are presented, showing that biochars produced under different conditions can have varying effects in plant growth. This further strengthens the need for a biochar classification system. The paper can be downloaded here.


18 May 2010

DIBANET Meeting in Buenos Aires

DIBANET held its first project review meeting in Buenos Aires on May 18-19. This meeting included the presentation of results to date and discussion of future strategies for the project by DIBANETs project partners. The progress to date, is summarised below:

  • A reactor system for the production of levulinic acid (an important cellulosic fuel
    precursor) from biomass is now operational at Carbolea.

  • Aston University (UK) and CERTH (Greece) have analysed and pyrolysed the
    residues from this system and are working towards the production of diesel miscible biofuels from these, so eliminating waste from the process and maximising potential revenue.

  • University Federal Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and the University of Buenos Aires
    (Argentina) have made exciting new developments regarding catalysts for both the upgrading of bio-oils from pyrolysis and the conversion of carbohydrates and levulinic acid.

  • It was agreed that the project should focus on the processing of sugarcane bagasse (from Latin America) and Miscanthus (from Europe) in the hydrolysis reactor. The end target is the design of a commercial system for a Brazilian sugarmill.

  • Project partners demonstrated that Near Infrared Spectroscopy is a highly effective technology for rapid feedstock analysis and evaluation, subsequent work will focus on the potential for applying such a system at future biorefineries and sugar mills - “Such a system will allow suppliers of feedstock to be paid based on the biofuel potential of their material” said Daniel Hayes.

These developments have allowed advances to be made at many key points of this DIBANET process chain. Project Co-ordinator Prof. Michael H.B. Hayes said “The exciting results presented at this meeting show the great advances that can occur when leading research groups from Europe and Latin America work together for the greater good of both regions. This is only the first such meeting for DIBANET and we envisage even greater advances in the coming years. Our focus on the production of diesel miscible biofuels from waste materials through abiotic processes offers us a great competitive advantage in the crowded biofuels sector and the concerted effort of all partners is towards the development of a commercial system. Following this meeting I am more confident than ever about us achieving that goal”.


The importance of this research to the industry was underlined by the hosting of this event at the headquarters of YPF, a large Argentinian oil company. YPF will analyse and evaluate the range of biofuels produced from the DIBANET technologies.


16 Feb 2010

Letter Published in Irish Times

A letter written by Carbolea's Prof. Michael Hayes was today published in the Irish Times national newspaper. It concered the plans for the construction, in Poolbeg, Dublin, of a large incinerator to treat the muncipal wastes from the Dublin region that are currently sent to landfill. It argued that the incineration technology has been superceded by biorefining processes that can offer higher value products from their processing of waste materials. The full letter can be read on the Irish Times website or through this link on the Carbolea site.


18 Oct 2009

Sunday Times Features Carbolea Researcher

Corinna Byrne was recently interviewed by the GRAD Ireland supplement for the Sunday Times. Corinna described her research in the Carbolea group at UL, detailing the work underway on producing Biochar from waste. She stated “what we are doing is very promising because waste material is so undervalued. We believe that there is no such thing as an organic waste- it’s just a usable product in the wrong form”. The article can be read here.


23 Sep 2009

Daniel Hayes and Corinna Byrne Attend Environment Ireland 2009

Daniel Hayes and Corinna Byrne attended the 5th Annual Enviornment Ireland Conference (2009), at Croke Park, Dublin. There were several topics of interest at this conference, particularly the presentations relating to future strategies to deal with wastes. Carbolea research projects consider waste feedstocks as a priority and we are continually looking at advanced processes for getting maximal value from this resource while minimising greenhouse gas emissions.


30 Apr 2009

Daniel Hayes Presents to EU Parliamentarians

Daniel Hayes presented to the European Parliament outlining his vision for the future direction of biofuel policy in the EU. In particular it was outlined that there needs to be a clear focus on only those feedstocks and technologies that can offer substantive greenhouse gas savings at a reasonable cost. He suggested that, at least in the near term until second generation biorefining facilities are well established and offer a stable market for the production of lignocellulosic energy crops, there should be a focus on utilising waste resources (as shall be the central theme of Carbolea's DIBANET project) and feedstocks that do not result in land use conflicts or food vs fuel arguments. Dan's speech can be provided at request.


09 Dec 2008

New Waste Evaluation Project Starts at Carbolea

December also sees the start of a project funded by the EPA Strive Programme. The project will involve the detailed analysis and characterisation of various wastes (including industrial and municipal wastes) in order to ascertain their potential in various biorefining and/or pyrolysis technologies. Following this analysis these methods of waste treatment will be compared with more conventional processes such as landfill, incineration and anaerobic digestion. The Project will last one year and will involve Daniel Hayes and Patrick Cross.


08 Sep 2008

Strong Presence at the Internation Biochar Initiative 2008

Several members of Carbolea attended the 2008 Conference for the International Biochar Initiative. This was located in Newcastle, England and saw a significant increase in attendance from the 2007 conference, based in Terrigal, Australia, which was also attended by Carbolea.

Prof. Michael Hayes made a keynote presentation under the session entitled "Biochar Characterisation". He discussed the advanced biochar characterisation techniques that have been developed at Carbolea and there were also several posters by the group on display. The presentation can be downloaded from the website.

There can potentially be a major role for biochar in carbon sequestration and soil fertility and Carbolea hopes to be strongly involved in this through our current and forthcoming projects. The origins of interest in biochar are outlined with especial focus on the enhanced ferertility conferred on the Terra Preta soils from biochar amendments by pre-Columbian native Indians. The fact that the surface area of 10 g of biochar is equivalent to the area of the Croke Park playing field highlights the immense reactive surface that it provides. Solid state nuclear magnetic resonance data indicate compositional aspects, and differences of biochars formed under varied reaction conditions. Reference is made to the refuges that biochars provide for fungi and bacteria that can influence plant growth, and the growth enhancing effect for plants is shown..


26 May 2008

Successful Launch of the CPI

The Charles Parsons Initiative, of which Carbolea is a member, was officially lauched today.The launch was addressed by Minister Eamon Ryan (Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources), Professor Son Barry (President of the University of Limerick), and Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool (ex-chairman of Shell and chairman of D1 Oils). There were also world renowned experts in the fields of biomass, wind, biofuels, ocean energy and energy storage. The event was well attended by stakeholders from various fields.

The programme can be downloaded here and many presentations can be downloaded from the CPI website while those relating to the areas of study in Carbolea can be downloaded below:

Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool - "Some Thoughts on Biofuels..."

Daniel Hayes - "Biorefining, Work at Carbolea and the Biofine Process"

Dr. Dmitri Bulushev and Prof. Julian Ross - "Catalysis for Hydrogen and Transport Fuel Production from Biomass"

Dr. JJ Leahy and Dr. Witold Kwapinski - Thermochemical Conversion/Biomass Gasification

Prof. Austin Darragh - "Sir Charles Parsons and the Evolution of an Energy Led Economy"

Katerina Kryachko - "Bio-char and Plant Growth"


23 May 2008

Waste Evaluation Project Awared to Carbolea by the EPA

Carbolea has been awarded a grant under the EPA STRIVE program. The project will involve the detailed analysis and characterisation of various wastes (including industrial and municipal wastes) in order to ascertain their potential in various biorefining and/or pyrolysis technologies. Following this analysis these methods of waste treatment will be compared with more conventional processes such as landfill, incineration and anaerobic digestion. The project is expected to start in December 2008 and last one year. It will involve Daniel Hayes and Patrick Cross.




 

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