Lignin Content of Agro-forestry Biomass Negatively Affects the Resultant Biochar pH

Yuwei Huang, Fengcheng Li, Jun Meng, Wenfu Chen

Abstract


The biomass type is one of the most important factors that affects biochar properties, but the relationship between the major constituents of different biomasses and the properties of the derived biochars, especially the pH, is still unclear. In this study, the cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and ash contents of 30 representative agro-forestry biomasses and the pH, surface acid functional groups, and carbonates of 150 resultant biochars prepared with different heat treatment temperatures (HTTs) were examined. The results showed that the lignin content of the biomass had a strong negative correlation with the biochar pH (r = −0.428, P < 0.01). When the HTT was 300 °C, a high lignin content in the biomass was found to have increased the acid functional groups in the biochar, which resulted in a relatively low pH. When the HTT was greater than or equal to 400 °C, the high lignin content in the biomass negatively correlated to the carbonates, which led to a low biochar pH. It was concluded that the lignin content of agro-forestry biomass affects the biochar pH negatively, and the acid functional groups and carbonates have different effects at different HTTs.

Keywords


Biochar; pH; Lignin; Functional groups; Carbonate

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