Location: Commodity Utilization Research
2010 Annual Report
Steam-activated biochars (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) from poultry (chicken or turkey) manure were shown to remove elemental mercury from air streams, as well as, or better than, an often used commercial alternative. It was shown that post-treatment washing sometimes resulted in an improvement in performance, but with other manure types it was not advantageous to wash the activated chars. Overall, the best performing activated chars were unwashed steam-activated chars from chicken litter and turkey cake. Poultry manure was pelletized, sterilized, and shipped to a collaborator for testing of the heating process on a larger scale.
In separate experiments, both un-activated and steam-activated biochars from chicken litter was tested for how well they would tie up toxic metals in soil or water. The results show that biochar amendment significantly helped the soil contain the metals. Part of this was explained by the increase in alkalinity when biochars were added. Un-activated materials were also shared with other Agricultural Research Service researchers for characterization as soil nutrient amendments or water holding capacity. The poultry based chars did little to retain water and was found to serve as an excellent source for phosphorous.
A process developed to make steam-activated chars (or carbons) from shells of different almond varieties was completed and published. The results showed that the steam-activation process was robust enough to produce a material that consistently adsorbed a nematicide (chemical used to kill plant parasites) commonly found in groundwater in areas were almonds are grown.
Uchimiya, M., Stone, A.T. 2009. Reduction of substituted p-Benzoquinones by Fe II near neutral pH. Aquatic Geochemistry. 16(1):173-188.
Novak, J.M., Lima, I., Xing, B., Gaskin, J.W., Steiner, C., Das, K.C., Ahmedna, M., Rehrah, D., Watts, D.W., Busscher, W.J., Schomberg, H.H. 2009. Characterization of designer biochar produced at different temperatures and their effects on a loamy sand. Annals of Environmental Science. 3:195-206.
Klasson, K.T., Lima, I.M., Boihem, L.L. 2009. Poultry Manure as Raw Material for Mercury Adsorbents in Gas Applications. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 18:562-569. Uchimiya, M., Lima, I.M., Klasson, K.T., Chang, S., Wartelle, L.H., Rodgers, J.E. 2010. Immobilization of heavy metal ions (CuII, CdII, NiII, and PbII) by broiler litter-derived biochars in water and soil. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(9):5538-5544.
Klasson, K.T., Ledbetter, C.A., Wartelle, L.H., Lingle, S.E. 2010. Feasibility of dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and trichloroethylene (TCE) adsorption onto activated carbons made from nut shells of different almond varieties. Industrial Crops and Products. 31:261-265.
Cheng, H.N., Wartelle, L.H., Klasson, K.T., Edwards, J.C. 2010. Solid-state NMR and ESR studies of activated carbons produced from pecan shells. Carbon. 48:2455-2469.