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Sustainable biomass-derived hydrothermal carbons for energy applications

Nachhaltiger, Biomasse-basierter Hydrothermalkohlenstoff für Energieanwendungen

  • The need to reduce humankind reliance on fossil fuels by exploiting sustainably the planet renewable resources is a major driving force determining the focus of modern material research. For this reason great interest is nowadays focused on finding alternatives to fossil fuels derived products/materials. For the short term the most promising substitute is undoubtedly biomass, since it is the only renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels as carbon source. As a consequence efforts, aimed at finding new synthetic approaches to convert biomass and its derivatives into carbon-based materials, are constantly increasing. In this regard, hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) has shown to be an effective means of conversion of biomass-derived precursors into functional carbon materials. However the attempts to convert raw biomass, in particular lignocellulosic one, directly into such products have certainly been rarer. Unlocking the direct use of these raw materials as carbon precursors would definitely be beneficial in terms of HTCThe need to reduce humankind reliance on fossil fuels by exploiting sustainably the planet renewable resources is a major driving force determining the focus of modern material research. For this reason great interest is nowadays focused on finding alternatives to fossil fuels derived products/materials. For the short term the most promising substitute is undoubtedly biomass, since it is the only renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels as carbon source. As a consequence efforts, aimed at finding new synthetic approaches to convert biomass and its derivatives into carbon-based materials, are constantly increasing. In this regard, hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) has shown to be an effective means of conversion of biomass-derived precursors into functional carbon materials. However the attempts to convert raw biomass, in particular lignocellulosic one, directly into such products have certainly been rarer. Unlocking the direct use of these raw materials as carbon precursors would definitely be beneficial in terms of HTC sustainability. For this reason, in this thesis the HTC of carbohydrate and protein-rich biomass was systematically investigated, in order to obtain more insights on the potentials of this thermochemical processing technique in relation to the production of functional carbon materials from crude biomass. First a detailed investigation on the HTC conversion mechanism of lignocellulosic biomass and its single components (i.e. cellulose, lignin) was developed based on a comparison with glucose HTC, which was adopted as a reference model. In the glucose case it was demonstrated that varying the HTC temperature allowed tuning the chemical structure of the synthesised carbon materials from a highly cross-linked furan-based structure (T = 180oC) to a carbon framework composed of polyaromatic arene-like domains. When cellulose or lignocellulosic biomass was used as carbon precursor, the furan rich structure could not be isolated at any of the investigated processing conditions. These evidences were indicative of a different HTC conversion mechanism for cellulose, involving reactions that are commonly observed during pyrolytic processes. The evolution of glucose-derived HTC carbon chemical structure upon pyrolysis was also investigated. These studies revealed that upon heat treatment (Investigated temperatures 350 – 900 oC) the furan-based structure was progressively converted into highly curved aromatic pre-graphenic domains. This thermal degradation process was observed to produce an increasingly more hydrophobic surface and considerable microporosity within the HTC carbon structure. In order to introduce porosity in the HTC carbons derived from lignocellulosic biomass, KOH chemical activation was investigated as an HTC post-synthesis functionalisation step. These studies demonstrated that HTC carbons are excellent precursors for the production of highly microporous activated carbons (ACs) and that the porosity development upon KOH chemical activation is dependent on the chemical structure of the HTC carbon, tuned by employing different HTC temperatures. Preliminary testing of the ACs for CO2 capture or high pressure CH4 storage yielded very promising results, since the measured uptakes of both adsorbates (i.e. CO2 and CH4) were comparable to top-performing and commercially available adsorbents, usually employed for these end-applications. The combined use of HTC and KOH chemical activation was also employed to produce highly microporous N-doped ACs from microalgae. The hydrothermal treatment of the microalgae substrate was observed to cause the depletion of the protein and carbohydrate fractions and the near complete loss (i.e. 90%) of the microalgae N-content, as liquid hydrolysis/degradation products. The obtained carbonaceous product showed a predominantly aliphatic character indicating the presence of alkyl chains presumably derived from the lipid fractions. Addition of glucose to the initial reaction mixture was found out to be extremely beneficial, because it allowed the fixation of a higher N amount, in the algae derived HTC carbons (i.e.  60%), and the attainment of higher product yields (50%). Both positive effects were attributed to Maillard type cascade reactions taking place between the monosaccharides and the microalgae derived liquid hydrolysis/degradation products, which were in this way recovered from the liquid phase. KOH chemical activation of the microalgae/glucose mixture derived HTC carbons produced highly microporous N-doped carbons. Although the activation process led to a major reduction of the N-content, the retained N-amount in the ACs was still considerable. These features render these materials ideal candidates for supercapacitors electrodes, since they provide extremely high surface areas, for the formation of electric double-layer, coupled to abundant heteroatom doping (i.e. N and O) necessary to obtain a pseudocapacitance contribution.show moreshow less
  • Die Notwendigkeit, die Abhängigkeit der Menschheit von fossilen Brennstoffen zu reduzieren ist die treibende Kraft hinter aktuellen Forschungsanstrengungen in den Materialwissenschaften. Folglich besteht heutzutage ein erhebliches Interesse daran Alternativen zu Materialien, die aus fossilen Resourcen gewonnen werden, zu finden. Kurzfristig ist zweifellos Biomasse die vielversprechendste Alternative, da sie aus heutiger Sicht die einzige nicht-fossile, nachhaltige und nachwachsende Kohlenstoffquelle ist. Konsequenterweise werden die Antrengungen neue Syntheseansätze zur Konvertierung von Biomasse und ihren Derivaten in kohlenstoffbasierten Materialien forwährend erhöht. In diesem Zusammenhang hat sich die Hydrothermalkarbonisierung (HTC) als sehr vielseitiges Werkzeug zur Konvertierung von Biomasse-basierten Ausgangsstoffen in funktionale Kohlenstoffmaterialien herausgestellt. Dennoch gibt es bisher wenige Ansätze um rohe Biomasse, genauer gesagt Lignicellulose, direkt in funktionale Materialien umzusetzen. Könnte der direkte EinsatzDie Notwendigkeit, die Abhängigkeit der Menschheit von fossilen Brennstoffen zu reduzieren ist die treibende Kraft hinter aktuellen Forschungsanstrengungen in den Materialwissenschaften. Folglich besteht heutzutage ein erhebliches Interesse daran Alternativen zu Materialien, die aus fossilen Resourcen gewonnen werden, zu finden. Kurzfristig ist zweifellos Biomasse die vielversprechendste Alternative, da sie aus heutiger Sicht die einzige nicht-fossile, nachhaltige und nachwachsende Kohlenstoffquelle ist. Konsequenterweise werden die Antrengungen neue Syntheseansätze zur Konvertierung von Biomasse und ihren Derivaten in kohlenstoffbasierten Materialien forwährend erhöht. In diesem Zusammenhang hat sich die Hydrothermalkarbonisierung (HTC) als sehr vielseitiges Werkzeug zur Konvertierung von Biomasse-basierten Ausgangsstoffen in funktionale Kohlenstoffmaterialien herausgestellt. Dennoch gibt es bisher wenige Ansätze um rohe Biomasse, genauer gesagt Lignicellulose, direkt in funktionale Materialien umzusetzen. Könnte der direkte Einsatz von roher Biomasse Verfahren wie der HTC zugänglich gemacht werden, würde dies die Nachhaltigkeit des Verfahrens immens steigern. Daher wurde in dieser Dissertation die Hydrothermalkarbonisierung von kohlenhydratreicher (d. h. Lignicelluse) und proteinreicher (d. h. Microalgae) Biomasse systematisch analysiert. Diese Untersuchung galt dem Ziel einen besseren Einblick in das Potential dieser thermochemischen Verarbeitungsmethode funktionale Kohlenstoffmaterialien aus unverarbeiteter Biomasse hervorzubringen zu gewinnen. Die hergestellten Materialien wurden mittels chemischer Aktivierung nachträglich weiter behandelt. Dieser zusätzliche Verarbeitungsschritt ermöglichte die Herstellung hochporöser aktiverter Kohlenstoffe (AC). Die aus Lignicellulose gewonnenen ACs zeigten exzellente Eigenschaften bei der Aufnahme von CO2 und der Hochdruckspeicherung von CH4 währen die aus Microalgae gewonnen Eigenschaften an den Tag legten (z. B. hohe Oberfläche und N-Dotierung), welche sie zu vielversprechenden Materialien für Superkondensatoren machen. Die in dieser Dissertation präsentierte Arbeit zeigte außergewöhnliche Fortschritte in Richtung der Anwendung von unbehandelter Biomasse als Ausgangsmaterial für die Produktion von funktionalen Kohlenstoffen.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Camillo Falco
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-59785
Advisor:Markus Antonietti
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Year of Completion:2012
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Granting Institution:Universität Potsdam
Date of final exam:2012/04/26
Release Date:2012/05/31
Tag:Biomasse; Enegieanwendungen; Grüne Chemie; Kohlenmaterialien; Nachhaltigkeit
Biomass; Carbon materials; Energy Applications; Green Chemistry; Sustainability
RVK - Regensburg Classification:VN 5070
RVK - Regensburg Classification:VN 9507
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Chemie
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 54 Chemie / 540 Chemie und zugeordnete Wissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Weitergabe zu gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland