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Advanced characterization unravels the structure and reactivity of wood-based chars

Abstract : This study aims at understanding the structural changes occurring in the carbonaceous matrix of wood-based chars during their thermal conversion. Although chars are routinely characterized by porosity measurements or scanning electron microscopy, the composition and structure of the carbonaceous matrix is often not investigated. Here, advanced characterization using X-ray synchrotron microtomography, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction provided a precise description of the char properties, allowing for an accurate discussion of their catalytic properties. Two chars were produced by slow pyrolysis of wood waste (400 and 700 °C) and a third one was fabricated by activation under steam at 850 °C of the char obtained at 700 °C. The results show that the pyrolysis temperature and the activation performed did not affect the macrostructure of the chars and that the pores were interconnected at the macroscopic scale. However, at 700 °C, the micro- and nanostructures were modified: short-range organized graphene fringes were observed. The activated char showed a homogeneous microstructure similar to that of its precursor. Besides, the ratio of graphene-like structures, the local organization of graphene sheets, and the imperfections in graphene-like sheets were clearly improved by the post-treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first time that such an approach, combining various tools, is applied for the study of pyrolysis chars.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 12, 2018 - 11:13:59 AM
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Sarah Berhanu, Maxime Hervy, Elsa Weiss-Hortala, Henry Proudhon, Marie-Hélène Berger, et al.. Advanced characterization unravels the structure and reactivity of wood-based chars. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Elsevier, 2018, 130, p.79-89. ⟨10.1016/j.jaap.2018.01.024⟩. ⟨hal-01700193⟩

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