Analysis of biochars by hydropyrolysis

Meredith, Will, McBeath, Anna, Ascough, Philippa, and Bird, Michael (2017) Analysis of biochars by hydropyrolysis. In: Singh, Balwant, Camps-Arbestain, Marta, and Lehmann, Johannes, (eds.) Biochar: a guide to analytical methods. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 187-198.

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[Extract] Hydropyrolysis (hydrogen pyrolysis or HyPy) was developed in the 1950s as a process for the direct conversion of coal into methane and light aromatic feedstocks using extremely high temperatures and pressures, ~800°C and up to 300 bar (Hiteshue et al. 1957). During the late 1980s, it was found that by using dispersed catalysts, such as sulfided molybdenum (Mo), it was possible to achieve much higher overall conversions to liquid products at pressures no higher than 150 bar (Snape et al. 1989). These developments laid the foundation for the development of HyPy as an analytical pyrolysis procedure based on the unique ability of HyPy to produce high yields of biomarkers from petroleum source rocks, achieving overall conversions close to 100% for macromolecular labile organic matter, while, at the same time, minimising structural alteration of the products by isomerisation and cracking (Love et al. 1995). This has enabled the technique to be used in petroleum geochemistry for applications where conventional geochemical approaches fail; for example, the characterisation of heavily biodegraded oils, samples contaminated by oil-based drilling mud, and oil field solids such as tar mats, and deciphering the basin-filling history of migrated petroleum fluids (Murray et al. 1998; Russell et al. 2004). HyPy has also gained prominence in geobiological studies related to ancient biomarker detection, informing the evolution of microbial and animal life across Earth history (Love et al. 2009), and has been utilised for the detailed characterisation of the insoluble macromolecular material in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites (Sephton et al. 2005). Developed at the University of Nottingham (UK), HyPy has been available as a commercial system since 2010 (Fig. 17.1), manufactured and supplied by Strata Technology Ltd of Sunbury-on-Thames, UK (

Item ID: 52254
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4987-6553-4
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 00:34
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3703 Geochemistry > 370304 Organic geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 100%
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