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Dr. Witold Kwapinski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Witold Kwapinski

Department:

Chemical and Environmental Science

Address:

Lonsdale Building (office: L1 006), Uni. of Limerick

Position:

Lecturer Below the Bar

Qualifications:

PhD (Chemical Engineering), MIChemE

Email:

witold.kwapinski@ul.ie

Phone (work):

(+353) 61 23 4935


From 01/2011 Dr. Witold Kwapinski works as Lecturer (btb) in Dept of Chemical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Limerick (Ireland). His research interests are focused on second generation biomass conversion processes, and particularly on the thermal conversion of waste biomass into char, biofuels and chemicals and process optimisation.

Previous experience:

07/2007 - 12/2010 Senior Research Fellow at the University of Limerick

2006 - 06/2007 Marie Curie Fellowship in the Centre for Process Integration at the University of Manchester (UMIST)

2001 - 2005 Directly after his PhD defense, he was employed as a Research Assistant in the Department of Thermal Process Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg (Germany)

1994 - 2001 Assistant / Lecturer at the Technical University of Lodz, Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering

Research Projects - the list

Recent Peer-Reviewed Journals Publications:

Troy S.M., Nolana T., Leahy J.J., Lawlor P.G., Healy M.G., Kwapinski W.Effect of sawdust addition and composting of feedstock on renewable energy and biochar production from pyrolysis of anaerobically digested pig manure. Biomass and Bioenergy 2012. - in press

Melligan, F., Hayes, M.H.B.,, Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J. Pyrolysis GC/MS of Miscanthus x giganteus with Ni-ZSM-5 and Ni-MCM-41 in a hydrogen atmosphere. Energy and Fuels 26, 6080-6090, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef301244h

Li Z., Wnetrzak R., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J. Synthesis and characterisation of sulfated TiO2 nanorods and ZrO2/TiO2 nanorod composites for the esterification of bio-oil model organic acid. Journal Applied Materials and Interfaces 4, 4499-4505, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/am300510u

Kolodynska D., Wnetrzak R., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B., Kwapinski W., Hubicki Z. Adsorptive characterisation of biochar in heavy metal ions removal. Chemical Engineering Journal 197, 295-305, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2012.05.025

Troy S.T., Nolan T., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Healy M.G., Lawlora P.G. Effect of sawdust addition on composting of separated raw and anaerobically digested pig manure. Journal of Environmental Management 111, 70-77, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.035

Linhares C.R., Lemke J., Auccaise R., Duo D.A., Ziolli R.L., Kwapinski W., Novotny E.H. Chemical functionalisation of activated charcoal - Reproducing the Terras Pretas de Indios organic matter model. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira 47(5), 693-698, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2012000500009

Novotny E.H., Auccaise R., Velloso M.H.R., Correa J.C., Higarashi M.M., Abreu V.M.N., Rocha J.D., Kwapinski W. Characterisation of phosphate structures in swine bones biochar. Pesquisa Agropecuaria Brasileira 47(5), 693-698, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2012000500006

Melligan, F., Dussan, K., Auccaise, R., Novotny, E.H., Leahy, J.J., Hayes, M.H.B., Kwapinski, W. Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of Miscanthus. Bioresource Technology 108, 258-263, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2011.12.110

Nolan T., Troy S.M., Healy M.G., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Lawlor P.G. Characterization of separated pig manure composted with a variety of bulking agents at low initial C/N ratios. Bioresource Technology 102, 7131-7138, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2011.04.066

Melligan F., Auccaise R., Novotny E., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B., Kwapinski W. Pressurised pyrolysis of Miscanthus using a fixed bed reactor. Bioresource Technology 102, 3466-3470, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2010.10.129

Kwapinski W., Byrne C., Kryachko E., Wolfram P., Adley C., Leahy J.J., Novotny E.H., Hayes M.H.B. Biochar from waste and biomass. Journal of Waste and Biomass Valorization 1, 177-189, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12649-010-9024-8

Kwapinski W., Salem K., Mewes D., Tsotsas E. Thermal and flow effects during adsorption in conventional, diluted and annular packed beds. Chemical Engineering Science 65, 4250-4260, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2010.04.017

Kwapinski W., Combined wall and thermal effects during non-isothermal packed bed adsorption. Chemical Engineering Journal 152, 271-276, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2009.05.023

Peer-Reviewed Conference Publications:

Wnetrzak R., Leahy J.J., Peters K., Jensen L.S., Kwapinski W. Energy production potentials from pyrolysis of pig manure. 4th International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste, San Servolo, Venice Italy, 12-15 November 2012.

Fox A., Cullen R., Kwapinski W., Schmalenberger A. Bacterial mobilization of sulfur and phosphorous in biochar amended soils, 14th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology - The Power of the Small Copenhagen Denmark, 19-24 August 2012.

Melligan F., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B. Hydro-Pyrolysis GC/MS of Miscanthus x giganteus with Ni-ZSM-5 and Ni-MCM-41. Cat4Bio Thessaloniki Greece, 8-11 July 2012.

Melligan F., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B., Kwapinski W. PyGC/MS of Miscanthus with Ni-ZSM-5 and Ni-MCM-41 under a hydrogen atmosphere. 19th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Linz Austria, 21-25 May 2012.

Wnetrzak R., Leahy J.J., Kwapinski W. Catalytic esterification of bio-liquid from intermediate pyrolysis. 1st International Congress on Catalysis for Biorefineries - CatBior ISBN 978-8493912031 p. 572-577, Torremolinos-Málaga Spain, 2-5 October 2011.

Kwapinski W. Bio-char its properties and application. Invited speak at The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability climate weekend, the Carbon Cycles and Sinks Network and Gorta present, Dublin Ireland, 28 April 2011.

Kwapinski W. Thermo-chemical conversion of biomass to bio-char and bio-fuels and product upgrading. (Termo-chemiczna konwersja biomasy oraz jej produkty) The 35th Symposium on Chemistry for Agriculture, Karpacz, Poland, 28/11-01/12 2010. - plenary lecture

Kwapinski W., Troy S., Wnetrzak R., Piterina A., Healy M.G., Nolan T., Lawlor P.G., Leahy J.J., Hayes M.H.B. Pyrolysism of waste organic substances and product application. Workshop on Managing livestock manure for sustainable agriculture, Wageningen The Natherlands, 24-25/11 2010.

Kwapinska M., Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J.: Pilot-plant gasification of miscanthus: a technical assessment. 10th European Gasification Conference, Amsterdam The Netherlands, October 2010.

Other Reports:

Kwapinski W., Leahy J.J. Feasibility study for the construction of a pilot/commercial - scale pyrolysis unit. Report for the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA) pp. 1-38, 2011.

Posters:

"Biomass Pyrolysis and Gasification and Their Applications" - A poster by Witold Kwapinski detailing the Carbolea research areas of pyrolysis and gasification.

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Material/Downloads

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Summary Statistics

Carbolea
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2018

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for Last
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Journal Papers

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Conference Papers

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Presentations

5

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Posters

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Videos

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Reports

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Untitled Document

Journal Articles

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Lynch, D., Low, F., Henihan, A.M.,, Garcia, A.,, Kwapinski, W.,, Zhang, L.,, Leahy, J.J. (2014) Behavior of heavy metals during fluidized bed combustion of poultry litter, Energy and Fuels

Click for abstract
In this study, we have examined the behavior of heavy metals during fluidized bed combustion of poultry litter. Heavy metals examined include As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, V and Zn. Solid and gaseous streams were analyzed and compared with relevant guidelines to determine the potential environmental impact of combustion, and subsequent land spreading or landfill of the resulting ash. The majority of heavy metals were associated with the solid ash fraction, with low gaseous emissions. Pb and As were concentrated in the fine baghouse ash (160oC) due to their volatility. The remaining heavy metals, excluding Cd, were enriched in the heat exchangers and cyclone, where flue gas temperatures ranged from 580oC to 220oC. Under the waste acceptance criteria, all samples of process ash, excluding bed ash, exceeded the limits for non-hazardous landfill waste, as a result of high levels of water soluble Cr. Water soluble Cr indicated the presence of Cr(VI), and its presence was confirmed using X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (18.4 % to 38.3%). The source of Cr was identified as the bedding material (wood shavings), its conversion to Cr(VI) was temperature-dependent, and could be facilitated by the high alkali content found in poultry litter.


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

F. MelliganM.H.B. HayesW. KwapinskiJ.J. Leahy (2013) A study of hydrogen pressure during hydropyrolysis of Miscanthus x giganteus and online catalytic vapour upgrading with Ni on ZSM-5, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis

Click for abstract
Hydropyrolysis, coupled with a secondary catalytic reactor was used as a method of producing a bio-oil from Miscanthus x giganteus with low levels of oxygenated compounds and high yields of saturated hydrocarbons. This study used analytical Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy for the analysis of products from the pyrolysis of Miscanthus. Hydropyrolysis was carried out at 600 °C, and the pyrolysis vapours then passed through a secondary reactor, which contained a 10% Ni on ZSM-5 catalyst. The hydrogen pressure for the separate reactions ranged from atmospheric pressure up to 30 bar. The results indicate that both hydrogen pressure and the incorporation of the Ni/ZSM-5 catalysts play an important role in the production of saturated hydrocarbons through the hydrogenation, dehydration and decarboxylation of oxygenated compounds. Also, in the absence of the catalyst the concentration of ethanoic acid can be significantly reduced with the increase in hydrogen pressure, and completely eliminated at 20 bar.

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Lynch, D., Henihan, A.M., Bowen, B., Lynch, D., McDonnell, K., Kwapinski, W.Leahy, J.J. (2013) Utilisation of poultry litter as an energy feedstock, Biomass and Bioenergy 49:197-204

Click for abstract
This paper examines poultry litter (PL) as a resource in fuel quality terms and illustrates how the small scale application of fluidised bed technology solves both energy and waste problems, while producing a nutrient rich ash. PL was found to have a higher heating value (HHV) of 18 GJ/t on a dry basis (db). On an as received basis (ar), it had an ash mass fraction of 9% and the elemental phosphorous content of the ash was 110 g/kg.The resultant mineral matter can be utilised as a nutrient substitute for mineral fertiliser.

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Lynch, D., Henihan, A.M., Kwapinski, W., Zhang, L., Leahy, J.J. (2013) Ash Agglomeration and Deposition during Combustion of Poultry Litter in a Bubbling Fluidized-Bed Combustor, Energy and Fuels

Click for abstract
In this study, we have characterized the ash resulting from fluidized bed combustion of poultry litter as being dominated by a coarse fraction of crystalline ash composed of alkali-Ca-phosphates and a fine fraction of particulate K2SO4 and KCl. Bed agglomeration was found to be coating-induced with two distinct layers present. The inner layer (0.05–0.09 mm thick) was formed due to the reaction of gaseous potassium with the sand (SiO2) surface forming K-silicates with low melting points. Further chemical reaction on the surface of the bed material strengthened the coating forming a molten glassy phase. The outer layer was composed of loosely bound, fine particulate ash originating from the char. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations showed slag formation in the combustion zone is highly temperature-dependent, with slag formation predicted to increase from 1.8 kg at 600 °C to 7.35 kg at 1000 °C per hour of operation (5.21 kg of ash). Of this slag phase, SiO2 and K2O were the dominant phases, accounting for almost 95%, highlighting the role of K-silicates in initiating bed agglomeration. The remaining 5% was predicted to consist mainly of Al2O3, K2SO4, and Na2O. Deposition downstream in the low-temperature regions was found to occur mostly through the vaporization–condensation mechanism, with equilibrium decreasing significantly with decreasing temperatures. The dominant alkali chloride-containing gas predicted to form in the combustion zone was KCl, which corresponds with the high KCl content in the fine baghouse ash.

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Melligan, F.Dussan, K., Auccaise, R., Novotny, E. H., Leahy, J. J.Hayes, M. H. B.Kwapinski, W. (2012) Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of MiscanthusBioresource Technology 108:258-263

Click for abstract
Platform chemicals such as furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural are major products formed during the acid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in second generation biorefining processes. Solid hydrolysis residues (HR) can amount to 50 wt.% of the starting biomass materials. Pyrolysis of the HRs gives rise to biochar, bio-liquids, and gases. Time and temperature were variables during the pyrolysis of HRs in a fixed bed tubular reactor, and both parameters have major influences on the amounts and properties of the products. Biochar, with potential for carbon sequestration and soil conditioning, composed about half of the HR pyrolysis product. The amounts (11–20 wt.%) and compositions (up to 77% of phenols in organic fraction) of the bio-liquids formed suggest that these have little value as fuels, but could be sources of phenols, and the gas can have application as a fuel.


Li Z.Wnetrzak R.Kwapinski W.Leahy J.J. (2012) Synthesis and characterisation of sulfated TiO2 nanorods and ZrO2/TiO2 nanorod composites for the esterification of bio-oil model organic acid, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 4:4499-4505

Linhares C.R., Lemke J., Auccaise R., Duó D.A., Ziolli R.L., Kwapinski W., Novotny E.H. (2012) Reproducing the organic matter model of anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia and testing the ecotoxicity of functionalized charcoal compounds, Agropecuária Brasileira 47:693-698

Click for abstract
The objective of this work was to obtain organic compounds similar to the ones found in the organic matter of anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia (ADE) using a chemical functionalization procedure on activated charcoal, as well as to determine their ecotoxicity. Based on the study of the organic matter from ADE, an organic model was proposed and an attempt to reproduce it was described. Activated charcoal was oxidized with the use of sodium hypochlorite at different concentrations. Nuclear magnetic resonance was performed to verify if the spectra of the obtained products were similar to the ones of humic acids from ADE. The similarity between spectra indicated that the obtained products were polycondensed aromatic structures with carboxyl groups: a soil amendment that can contribute to soil fertility and to its sustainable use. An ecotoxicological test with Daphnia similis was performed on the more soluble fraction (fulvic acids) of the produced soil amendment. Aryl chloride was formed during the synthesis of the organic compounds from activated charcoal functionalization and partially removed through a purification process. However, it is probable that some aryl chloride remained in the final product, since the ecotoxicological test indicated that the chemical functionalized soil amendment is moderately toxic.


Melligan, FergusKarla Dussan, Ruben Auccaise, Etelvino H Novotny, James J LeahyMichael H.B. HayesWitold Kwapinski (2012) Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of Miscanthus, Bioresource Technology 108:258-263

Click for abstract
Platform chemicals such as furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural are major products formed during the acid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in second generation biorefining processes. Solid hydrolysis residues (HR) can amount to 50 wt.% of the starting biomass materials. Pyrolysis of the HRs gives rise to biochar, bio-liquids, and gases. Time and temperature were variables during the pyrolysis of HRs in a fixed bed tubular reactor, and both parameters have major influences on the amounts and properties of the products. Biochar, with potential for carbon sequestration and soil conditioning, composed about half of the HR pyrolysis product. The amounts (11-20 wt.%) and compositions (up to 77% of phenols in organic fraction) of the bio-liquids formed suggest that these have little value as fuels, but could be sources of phenols, and the gas can have application as a fuel.


Melligan, F.J.J. LeahyW. KwapinskiM.H.B. Hayes (2012) Hydro-pyrolysis of biomass and on-line catalytic vapour upgrading with Ni-ZSM and Ni-MCM-41, Energy and Fuels 26:6080-6090

Click for abstract
A catalyst reactor coupled with analytical pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (Py-GC/MS) was used to carry out online analysis of the product vapors from the fast pyrolysis of Miscanthus x giganteus, Scots pine, and mahogany. Pyrolysis was carried out in both an inert atmosphere of He gas and in a highly reducing atmosphere of H2. Significant changes in the vapor compositions were achieved with the use of H2 as the carrier gas. The most notable of these were the increases in the hydrocarbon compositions. The roles of ZSM-5, Ni/ZSM-5, MCM-41, and of Ni/MCM-41 catalysts on the compositions of the pyrolysis vapors were investigated. Lower amounts of the higher molecular weight phenolic compounds and larger amounts of the lighter phenols were observed in the presence of Ni supported on ZSM-5 and MCM-41. This effect was more evident for the 10% than for the 2.5% Ni loadings. Overall, the results both from the use of H2 as the carrier gas and from all the catalysts demonstrates significant improvements in the composition of the vapors. However, this resulted in the lowering of the quantities of condensable products.


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

Click for abstract
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.


Kolodynska, D., Wnetrzak, R.Leahy, JJHayes, MHBKwapinski, W, Hubicki, Z. (2012) Kinetic and adsorptive characterization of biochar in metal ions removal, Chemical Engineering Journal 197:295-305

Click for abstract
Kinetic and adsorption studies on the removal of metal ions such as Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions in the biochar (BC) samples have been carried out. The effects of several experimental parameters have been investigated using the batch adsorption technique at different temperature. The effectiveness of Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions removal increases with the increasing initial concentration of biochar and metal ion, pH as well as phase contact time. The maximum adsorption was found in the pH range 5.0–6.0. The kinetics of adsorption was found to be pseudo second order with intraparticle diffusion as one of the rate determining steps. Adsorption studies were also performed at different temperatures and modelled with the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms.


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

Click for abstract
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.



Conference Proceedings

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Melligan F.Leahy J. J.Hayes M.H.B.Kwapinski W. (2012) Hydro-pyrolysis of biomass and on-line catalytic vapour upgrading with Ni-ZSM-5 and Ni-MCM-41, COST UBIOCHEM, 3rd Workshop, Thessaloniki Greece, 1-3 November:17


Presentations

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Lynch, D., Henihan, A.M., Kwapinski, W.Leahy, J.J. (2013) Closing the loop – on-farm fluidised bed combustion of poultry litter , 9 th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries , Antwerp, Belgium, 5 – 7 June, 2013
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Fox A., Cullen R., Kwapinski, W., Schmalenberger A. (2012) Bacterial mobilization of sulfur and phosphorous in biochar amended soils, 14th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology “The Power of the Small”, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-24 August 2012

Leahy J. J., Xue G., Kwapinska M.Kwapinski W (2012) Torrefaction of Miscanthus x giganteus, International Workshop of Biomass Torrefaction for Energy, Ecole des Mines d'Albi, Albi France, 10-11 May 2012

Melligan F.Leahy J.J.Hayes M.H.B.Kwapinski W. (2012) Py–GC/MS of Miscanthus with Ni-ZSM-5 and Ni-MCM-41 under a hydrogen atmosphere, 19th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Linz, Austria, 21-25 May

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


Posters

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Kwapinski, W. (2009) Biomass Pyrolysis and Gasification and Their Applications, IRCSET 2009 Symposium - Innovation Fuelling the Smart Society, Dublin, 25 Sep 2009
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Reports

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Kwapinski W.Leahy J.J. (2012) Feasibility study for the construction of a pilot/commercial - scale pyrolysis unit, Report for the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA):38 pages

Research Areas

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Bio-Oil

Bio-Oil is being produced via fast and slow pyrolysis from various feedstocks, including municipal and agricultural wastes and energy crops such as Miscanthus. These bio-oils are then characterised via a variety of analytical methods. Various routes for upgrading the quality of these bio-oils are also being investigated.

 

 


Biochar

Carbolea researchers recognise the potential of bioochar as both a plant growth promoter and as a means of sequestering atmospheric carbon. How the biochar functions in these roles will depend on the production mechanisms employed and the particular ultrastructure that results. These are some of the biochar topics considered.

 

 


Biorefining and Second Generation Biofuels

Carbolea researchers have been active for some time in the field of biomass conversion to high-value end products and fuels (biorefining). Work here covers the evaluation and development of biorefining feedstocks and technologies

 

 


Catalysis and Downstream Processing

Carbolea Researchers are looking at the most effective catalysts to upgrade bio-oils and to convert the products from biorefining technologies to higher value chemicals and fuels

 

 


Effective Utilisation of Wastes

We recognise that waste materials can have real value, particularly in biorefining and pyrolysis schemes. Carbolea researchers are looking to analyse wastes and evaluate their value in such processes and also develop more effective methods for their utilisation.

 

 


Gasification

Gasification involves the thermal degradation of biomass. It differs from pyrolysis in that some oxygen is present during the process. The main product is a syngas that can be used for energy or for the production of biofuels and platform chemicals via catalytic upgrading.

 

 


Miscanthus

Miscanthus is a herbaceous energy crop that can be highly productive in Ireland. It has been studied and processed in many of the projects undertaken at Carbolea.

 

 


Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is the thermal degradation of biomass in the absence of oxygen and allows for the production of bio-oil. biochar, and biogas.

 

 



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.

 

 


Tar Mitigation in Biosyngas Production

This project examines the way to avoid the formation of tars in the gasification of biomass.

 

 


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.

 

 


Completed Projects

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Design and Operate a Pyrolysis/Gasification Unit

A laboratory scale pyrolysis/gasification unit has been designed and built. This facility will shortly be operational at Carbolea and will be used to process a variety of residues, wastes and dedicated agricultural crops.

 

 


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23 May 2012

Paper Published on Metal Ions Adsorption on Biochar

A paper has been published containing work conducted at the University of Limerick and at the Maria Cure-Sklodowska University in Lublin.

Abstract: Kinetic and adsorption studies on the removal of metal ions such as Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions in the biochar (BC) samples have been carried out. The effects of several experimental parameters have been investigated using the batch adsorption technique at room temperature. The effectiveness of Cu(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions removal increases with the increasing initial concentration of biochar and metal ion, pH as well as phase contact time. The maximum adsorption was found in the pH range 5.0-6.0. The kinetics of adsorption was found to be pseudo second order with intraparticle diffusion as one of the rate determining steps. Adsorption studies were also performed at different temperatures and modelled with the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms.

Kolodynska D., Wnetrzak R., , Leahy J.J., Hayes, M. H. B., Kwapinski, W., Hubicki Z. Adsorptive characterisation of biochar in heavy metal ions removal. Chemical Engineering Journal 2012 - in press http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2012.05.025


01 Mar 2012

Paper Published on Pyrolysis of Residues from the DIBANET Process

A paper has been published containing work by Carbolea members on the pyrolysis of the acid hydrolysis residues that are produced as a byproduct of the DIBANET process. The paper is entitled "Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of Miscanthus" and can be downloaded from ScienceDirect.

Abstract: Platform chemicals such as furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural are major products formed during the acid hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass in second generation biorefining processes. Solid hydrolysis residues (HR) can amount to 50 wt.% of the starting biomass materials. Pyrolysis of the HRs gives rise to biochar, bio-liquids, and gases. Time and temperature were variables during the pyrolysis of HRs in a fixed bed tubular reactor, and both parameters have major influences on the amounts and properties of the products. Biochar, with potential for carbon sequestration and soil conditioning, composed about half of the HR pyrolysis product. The amounts (11–20 wt.%) and compositions (up to 77% of phenols in organic fraction) of the bio-liquids formed suggest that these have little value as fuels, but could be sources of phenols, and the gas can have application as a fuel.

Melligan, F., Dussan, K., Auccaise, R., Novotny, E. H., Leahy, J. J., Hayes, M. H. B., Kwapinski, W. (2012) Characterisation of the products from pyrolysis of residues after acid hydrolysis of Miscanthus, Bioresource Technology, 108, 258-263


30 Apr 2011

Eight Postgraduate Positions Available at Carbolea (Now FIlled)

We are happy to announce that seven PhD positions and one MSc positions are available at Carbolea. These are listed below:

PhD Projects:

The Combustion of Biofuels under Combustor Relevant Conditions (2 PhDs Available)

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Use of functionalised mesoporous silicas for pyrolysis oil upgrading (One PhD Available)

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Catalytic conversion of biomethane to methanol and higher alcohols (2 PhDs Available)

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Tar mitigation in biosyngas production (One PhD Available)

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The hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol (One PhD Available)

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MSc Project:

The project will deal with catalytic conversion of some biomass derived intermediates to fuel additives. The student will work and be fully financially supported for 2 years by Science Foundation Ireland. For more details on this project contact Dmitri Bulushev.


01 Feb 2011

Paper Published on Pressurised Pyrolysis of Miscanthus

A paper, entitled "Pressurised pyrolysis of Miscanthus using a frixed bed reactor" has been published.It can be downloaded from ScienceDirect.

Abstract: Miscanthus x giganteus was pyrolysed, in a fixed bed reactor in a constant flow of dinitrogen gas, at a rate of 13 °C/min from ambient to 550 °C, then held for 25 min at this temperature. The pressures employed ranged from atmospheric to 26 bar. The major compounds identified in the bio-oil were water, phenol, and phenol derivatives. The water contents impact on the usefulness of the bio-oil as a fuel. However, the phenols could provide useful platform chemicals and products.

Melligan, F., Auccaise, R., Novotny, E. H., Leahy, J. J., Hayes, M. H. B., Kwapinski, W. (2011) Pressurised pyrolysis of Miscanthus using a frixed bed reactor, Bioresource Technology, 102, 3466-3470


27 Jun 2010

Presentations by Carbolea Members at IHSS Symposium in Teneriffe

Carbolea members present their research at the 15th Meeting of the International Humic Substances SocietyHumic Substances and the Maintenance of Ecosystem Services”, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain 27th June – 2nd July 2010.

Michael H.B. Hayes has been invited to give a keynote lecture on ‘Evolution of Modern Concepts of the Compositions of Humic Substances’. The presentation will look at how research using advanced analytical techniques has shaped our knowledge about the compositions of humic substances.

Michael will also present a paper co-authored by Corinna M.P. Byrne and colleagues Prof. Roger S. Swift and Dr. Andre J. Simpson. This paper “Humin: The Simplest of the Humic Substances?” will describe in details how the structure of humin, the most recalcitrant fraction of soil organic matter, has been unravelled. The paper can be downloaded here.

A poster on “Changes in dissolved organic matter losses from soils under different management” authored by Corinna M.P. Byrne, Michael H.B. Hayes and Dr. Andre J Simpson will be presented which summaries the research finding recently published by Byrne et al., 2010 in Water Research. This poster can be downloaded here and the paper here.

Oceans are the largest global carbon pool and are estimated to hold approximately 38,000 PgC (petagrams of carbon). The oceanic sediments contain 150 Pg of organic matter (OM). Rosaleen Mylotte will present her work on the Study of Estuarine Sediments in Galway Bay, Ireland both orally and by poster. This work, co-authored by Prof. Michael HB Hayes and Dr. Catherine Dalton (Mary Immaculate College, Limeick, Ireland), examines core samples from the transitional waters in Galway Bay. A main focus of the study is the effect that the estuary is having on the bay especially, with regards to the organic matter (OM) present. OM is washed into the Bay from the River Corrib and its tributary streams. OM is a reservoir of carbon (in sediments) and an important sink. Studying the organic and inorganic colloidal components contained within the estuarine sediments can give indications of changes that have occurred over time to the composition of the matter transported to the estuary and will provide an insight into the composition of carbon sequestered in the sediments. The project is studying in detail the compositions of the HS at different depths and their associations with the sediments. The poster can be downloaded here.

Research data from Carbolea’s work on Biochar will also be presented in Tenerife. A paper entitled “Properties of Biochar Produced from Miscanthus x giganteus and its Influence the Growth of Maize (Zea mays L.)” authored by Dr. Witold Kwapinski, P. Wolfram, Corinna M.P. Byrne, Fergus Melligan, Dr. Etelvino H. Novotny, Dr. J.J. Leahy, Prof. Michael H.B. Hayes, will be presented which summaries the research finding recently published by Kwapinski et al., 2010 in Waste and Biomass Valorization. The IHSS paper abstract can be downloaded here.

Work on the “Extraction of High-Value Lipids from Irish Peats” will be presented as a poster by Raymond McInerney, co-authored by Daniel J. Hayes, Dr. J.J. Leahy and Prof. Michael HB. Hayes.

 


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.


06 Oct 2009

Project Update: Bio-Oil Production and Upgrading

The webpage detailing our work on the production and analysis of pyrolysis bio-oils from various feedstocks has been updated. Recent material includes observations concerning the upgrading of these bio-oils through esterification with alcohols. Fergus Melligan and Witold Kwapinski and the personnel with most involvement in this project, the updated material can be found here.


06 Oct 2009

Research Areas Update: Pyrolysis and Gasification

The webpage explaining the background to pyrolysis and gasification, two key areas of research at Carbolea, has been expanded today. Figures have been added to illustrate these thermochemical processes and a diagram of the bench-scale slow pyrolysis unit has been included. Witold Kwpainski and JJ Leahy are the persons with most involvement in this area. More details can be found on the appropriate webpage.


05 Oct 2009

Project Update: Gasifier/Pyrolysis Reactor Design

The webpage detailing our work, on the design and construction of a pilot-scale 10kg/hr pyrolyser/gasifier here at the University of Limerick has been updated. Witold Kwpainski and JJ Leahy are the persons with most involvement in this project. More details can be found on the appropriate webpage.


05 Oct 2009

Project Update:Biochar Production, Analysis and Plant Growth Trials

The webpage detailing our work on the production, analysis and evaluation of biochar has been updated. In particular there are pictures and data on the observations as to how various biochars influence the germination of Maize plants. It has been noticed that there is a siginificant positive effect in the first month of plant growth, when compared with controls, for biochar amended soils. It is hypothesised that this is due to hormonal effects from chemicals (probably from the bio-oil vapours) sorbed on to the biochars. Katerina Kryachko and Witold Kwpainski are the persons with most involvement in this project. More details can be found on the appropriate webpage.


25 Sep 2009

Carbolea Booth at IRCSET 2009 Symposium

Carbolea today occupied one of the four display booths at the IRCSET 2009 Symposium "Innovation Fuelling the Smart Society". The booth displayed a slide show and posters representing many of Carbolea's current projects. These posters included:

"Biomass Pyrolysis and Gasification and Their Applications" by Witold Kwapinski

"DIBANET - Development of Integrated Biomass Approaches Network" by Corinna Byrne

"Analysis of Biomass Feedstocks and Evaluation of Suitability for Biorefining and Pyrolysis Schemes" by Daniel Hayes

"Pyrolysis of Biomass to produce Bio-Oil" by Fergus Melligan

"Enhancements of Soil Fertility from Biochar Amendments" by Katerina Kryachko

Much of Daniel Hayes's PhD work was funded by IRCSET.


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"


13 Apr 2008

Biomass Conversion Conference Attended in Krakow

Katerina Kryachko, Witold Kwapinski, Dmitri Bulushev and Daniel Hayes attended the ERA Chemistry workshop, entitled “Chemistry of raw material change/chemical transformation of biomass” in Krakow, Poland. This was a very useful event which involved presentations and discussions concerning numerous areas of biomass conversion. The following articles that were presented at this conference can be downloaded here:

Daniel Hayes - "An Outline of Work by Carbolea and the Biofine Process"

Dmitri Bulushev - "Some applications of bio-oil and chemicals production"

Katerina Kryachko - "Investigations of methods of recovery products from Biofine Process and their applications"



 

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