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Pyrolysis of eucalyptus wood and evaluation of the characteristics of the products generated, by application of advanced analytical methods

Grant number: 11/22798-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Forest Biomass Energy
Principal Investigator:José Otávio Brito
Grantee:José Otávio Brito
Host Investigator: Marcos Gabriel Millan Agorio
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Imperial College London, England  


The pyrolysis process is considered a classic tool for the studies of the action of heat in the wood. One of its practical application is the carbonization to transform wood in to charcoal. Brasil is the biggest charcoal producer in the world, dedicated to pig iron/steel production. This production, however, is based on empirical concepts, that launches million tons of gases, causing impacts, considering the presence of chemical components harmful to humans and the components generating greenhouse effect. In 2006 the greenhouse gas emissions accounted 3.61% of total emissions of the Brazilian energy matrix. Given these facts, it is imperative to broaden knowledge about the process of pyrolysis / carbonization of wood. The scientific references used in the country are, to a large extent, originating from research conducted abroad, with the different woods used herein in the manufacture of charcoal. In addition, there is some repetition of studies that take into account only the results obtained in the charcoal analysis, some of them with a expressive empiricism degree. These are the main reasons for the proposal of this research, which aims, among others, the studies on pyrolysis / carbonization of wood, taking into account the evaluation of charcoal and the gases generated in the process. Aiming at the interest of the Brazilian pig iron/steel industry, the objective is to conduct assessments in the wood from planted forests. Moreover, it is intended that evaluations will be conducted, by applying different and relatively new methodologies, compared to those who are here have been used in research on the subject in Brasil. For this raison is proposed the development of research at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology at Imperial College of London, which has a strong structure and experienced team in the field of pyrolysis and fuels. The study will be developed in two species/clones of eucalyptus wood planted in Brazil, with the pyrolysis conducted under different heating rates and temperatures. In addition to the pyrolysis yields, it is proposed the previous evaluation of wood, including: particle size, density and chemical composition. In the solid and gaseous products from pyrolysis, it will be conducted chemical analysis, crystallographic tests, surface area determination, chromatography, spectrometry, including modern and different techniques, comparing those usually applied in the area of charcoal in Brazil. The development of the research will also be open the opportunity for a techno-scientific cooperation between the British and the Brazilian charcoal researchers. (AU)

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