GC: n

CT: Biocoal is made from all types of biomass and bio-residues – which represent an abundantly available resource. Not only is this resource available for free, it also has the potential to generate income by providing a disposal solution for unwanted bio-residues including agricultural biowaste, sewage sludge and food leftovers.

S: ANTACO – (last access: 25 November 2014)

N: 1. bio (prefix): word-forming element, from Greek bio-, comb. form of bios “one’s life, course or way of living, lifetime” (as opposed to zoe “animal life, organic life”), from PIE root gweie– “to live”.
The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean “organic life.”
coal (n): Old English col “charcoal, live coal,” from Proto-Germanic *kula(n).
First mentioned (370 B.C.E.) by Theophrastus in his treatise “On Stones” under the name lithos anthrakos (see anthrax). Traditionally good luck, coal was given as a New Year’s gift in England, said to guarantee a warm hearth for the coming year. The phrase drag (or rake) over the coals was a reference to the treatment meted out to heretics by Christians. To carry coals “do dirty work,” also “submit to insult” is from 1520s. To carry coals to Newcastle (c.1600) Anglicizes Greek glauk eis Athenas “owls to Athens.”
2. Biocoal is a solid fuel made from biomass by heating it in an inert atmosphere. The result is either charcoal, or if the process temperature is mild, a product called torrefied wood. Charcoal and torrefied wood can be called by the common name of biocoal.
3. Compared to untreated biomass, biocoal has several advantages. It has high energy content, uniform properties and low moisture content. Biocoal can be used in coal fired power plants, which have difficulties with other biomass based fuels, such as wood chips.
4. Biocoal is made by meana of a carbonization (also called pyrolysis) process, where biomass is heated in the absence of oxygen. Heating causes thermal degradation, producing various gases and solid material. If the highest temperature of carbonization is above 400 °C, the solid material is charcoal, and contains mostly pure carbon. If the temperature remains between 200 and 300 °C, the solid product is called torrefied wood, and the process torrefaction.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 25 November 2014). 2, 3 & 4. BALBIC – (last access: 25 November 2014).

SYN: biochar


CR: biomass, biomass energy, charcoal, coal, [coke ], ecology, environment, greenhouse effect.