Evaluating the economic feasibility of biochar production as a means of carbon capture and storage = Evaluación de factibilidad de la producción de biochar como método de captura y almacenamiento de dióxido de carbono
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an emerging technology designed to tackle climate change by making processes more sustainable. This work gives a technical review of the current status of this process in order to compare it with the production of biochar. The latter is a carbon-rich material obtained when biomass is heated in the absence of oxygen. Although this production technique, which is called pyrolysis, has been known for centuries, there is little information regarding its process at an industrial level. As a result, this dissertation presents a study of the feasibility of biochar production as a means of carbon capture and storage. In other words, this research generates an approach to provide a preliminary estimate of the potential of large-scale biochar production to reduce atmospheric CO2. In this context, it is important to consider that pyrolysis-based biochar could be valuable in terms of soil improvement, crop yield increase, bioenergy generation and greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets. In this perspective, there are two categories of pyrolysis: fast and slow. Fast pyrolysis produces biochar in a matter of seconds, whereas slow pyrolysis produces a higher conversion to biochar but in a matter of hours. Generally speaking, the pyrolysis-based process is considered to be carbon-negative, because biochar production could reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. In terms of the data analysis, several factors were considered and some assumptions were made. These assumptions are based on the literature because biochar production is not yet available at a commercial scale. According to the results, the cost to capture a tonne of carbon dioxide is $6.47 and $32.49 for fast and slow pyrolysis respectively. Therefore, although it is not a profitable technology, it could be cost competitive compared with CCS projects.
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