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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Research Project #445278

Research Project: Remediation and Conversion of Apple Snail Waste via Pyrolysis

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Project Number: 8072-41000-112-003-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

Collected biomass (shells) from the harvesting of invasive apple snails from crawfish, rice and other aquatic farms has led to large piles of waste. Slow pyrolysis is a potential remediator for these wastes that can be used on site to reduce volume, kill pathogens and create bio-char or bio-lime which are potentially useful for many local applications. These include carbon sequestration, soil amendment, and absorbent for water cleanup. Additional uses may include chemical catalysts, conversion to activated carbon or other carbon products. Alternatively, co-fast pyrolysis with other biomass resources can be used to create a liquid oil product which may be useful for production of fuels and chemicals. We propose to test pyrolysis as a conversion technology to remediate the collection of apple snail shells.

Several samples of the snail waste will be first evaluated for its composition and its thermal decomposition behavior via thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), pyrolysis gas chromatography (py-GCMS) along with proximate and ultimate analysis. Each of these analyses only require milligram quantities of samples. Each analysis will be preformed in triplicate, and depending on the number of unique samples received, conclusions about the average composition and thermal decomposition behavior will be made.