Preparation and characterization of biocarbon

General background:
Biocarbon, also commonly known as Biochar, is a high-carbon, fine-grained solid that is
produced through pyrolysis processes and currently mainly used for energy. Recently biocarbon
has also gained attention for its potential value in industrial applications such as composites.
Addition of biocarbon in the polymer is likely to increase the mechanical properties and decrease
hydrophilic nature of a polymer. Using biocarbon in polymer composites is also interesting
because of its relatively low specific weight that will result to lighter composite materials.
In this project Charcotec, Nettenergy and Groningen University will collaborate with Avans/CoE
BBE in a study on preparation and characterization of biocarbon.

Goal of internship:
Preparation and characterization of biocarbon

The Project involves:
1. Biocarbon production:3 types of biomass will be tested for making biochar (Grass, Cashew
nut shell, Beech Wood).
2. Biocarbon preparation
Particle sizes in a range of 5-10 micro meter and 90-100micro meter will be prepared
3. Characterization of biocarbon
– The determination of the Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Health and
Safety aspects of biocarbon
– The composition and functional groups (methods: Elemental composition, ICP-EOS,
FT-IR; solid state NMR or RAMAN spectroscopy (selected samples)
– Surface characteristics and porosity (methods: N2 adsorption and/or BET analysis,
morphology (SEM/TEM),
– Determination of surface acidity (methods: pH, NH3 TPD),
– Particle size (methods: Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
– Thermal behavior (methods: TGA, DSC).

Starting date
September 2020. The length of the assignment is 5 months. The student who will execute the
assignment gets a fee of €350,- per month.

The intern will be part of a research team lead by the adviser and supervised by Qian Zhou and
prof. dr. ir. H.J. (Hero Jan) Heeres.

Desirable skills/qualities of the student
The student should be able to carry out independent laboratory research. The preferred
background is chemistry.

The student is expected to work in Groningen University.

logo-avans-hogeschool logo-coebbeContact person concerning this assignment : Qian Zhou
Phone : +316 10224446
E-mail :
Visiting address : Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy
Street / number, areal code and place : Lovendijkstraat 63, Breda
Postal address : 4800 RA

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