Utilization of Charcoal Obtained from Woody Biomass in Metallurgical Processes Based on Solid–Gas Reactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The high demand for carbon-based products within pyrometallurgy is placing the industry in an increasingly challenging position to meet stringent requirements. To transition away from fossil carbon carriers, biochar emerges as a sustainable and CO2-neutral alternative, presenting a viable solution without necessitating fundamental adjustments to plant technology, unlike hydrogen as an alternative reducing agent. Prior investigations have underscored the potential of woody biomass pyrolysis products for CO2-neutral metallurgy. Nonetheless, it is imperative to recognize that biochar must meet distinct requirements across various metallurgical processes. This paper conducts a comparative analysis between biochar and petroleum coke using thermogravimetric analyses, surface measurements, reactivity assessments, and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, the performance in a furnace for simulating the Waelz process, specifically regarding ZnO reduction, is scrutinized. The results illustrate the optical differences between petroleum coke and biochar and the significantly higher reactivity and specific surface area of biochar. When used in solid–gas reactors, it is observed that due to its high reactivity, biochar reacts more vigorously and carbon is completely consumed. However, during the reduction of ZnO, only minor differences were monitored, making biochar comparable to petroleum coke. Therefore, under certain constraints, biochar can be considered a potential substitute for metallurgical solid–gas reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number592
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2024

Cite this