Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


There is a growing demand for sustainable alternatives to petroleum based fuels to be used in the transportation sector. To this end, thermochemical pathways have been proposed for the conversion of renewable feedstock such as wood and corn stover to transportation fuels. Although it is recognized that renewable feedstock sources are environmentally superior to the current petroleum based fuels, the commercial production of renewable fuels via thermochemical pathways must also be economically advantageous. Thermochemical conversion of a renewable feedstock results in the production of a significant amount of biochar that has a low economic value. To improve the overall economics of the thermochemical pathways, there is a need for increasing the economic value of biochar by diversifying the use of biochar or by upgrading it to a higher-value product, such as activated carbon. This thesis analyzes the characteristics of biochar to provide insights in to the selection of derivatives as well as operating conditions for upgrading biochar.