To main content

Comparison of properties of biochar produced from different types of lignocellulosic biomass by slow pyrolysis at 600 °C


Production of biochar from corn cob and corn stalk has gained great interest for efficient waste management with benefits of improving soil properties, increasing crop productivity, and contributing to carbon sequestration. This study investigated slow pyrolysis of corn cob and corn stalk at 600 °C to characterize yields and properties of products, with focus on solid biochar. Spruce wood, a rather well studied woody biomass, was also included for comparison purposes. It was observed that yields of biochar and condensates from corn cob, corn stalk, and spruce wood were comparable. However, gas release profiles and yields from the three biomasses were quite different, which is mainly related to the different chemical compositions (i.e., hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, and inorganic species) of the studied raw feedstocks. The produced biochars were analyzed for proximate analysis, CHNS-elemental analysis, specific surface area and specific pore volume for pores in the nm-range, inorganic composition, solid functional groups, and aromaticity. The corn cob and corn stalk biochar presented significantly higher concentration of inorganic elements, especially P and K, favoring soil application. The SEM analysis results showed that the spruce wood biochar has different microstructure than corn cob and corn stalk biochars. Condensates and light gases, as by-products from biochar production, contained over 50% of the energy and 40% of the total carbon of the initial biomass. Utilization of the condensates and light gases as valuable resources is therefore critical for improving environmental and energy benefits of the biochar production process.
Read publication


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 281113
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 287431




  • Liang Wang
  • Maria N.P. Olsen
  • Christophe Moni
  • Alba Diuegez-Alonso
  • Jose Maria de la Rosa
  • Marianne Stenrød
  • Xingang Liu
  • Liangang Mao


  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi
  • Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
  • Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg
  • Unknown
  • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences



Published in

Applications in Energy and Combustion Science







View this publication at Cristin