Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 545–561 | Cite as

High-grade activated carbon from pyrolytic biochar of Jatropha and Karanja oil seed cakes—Indian biodiesel industry wastes

  • Sonal Garg
  • Piyali DasEmail author
Original Article


Most of the commercially available pyrolysis plants use fluidized bed technologies where bio-oil is the major product and the biochar produced is combusted for process heat. However, auger-based technologies are now gaining importance because of their small to medium scale of operation and decentralized nature where biochar is obtained as a by-product. One of the factors which may greatly influence the techno-economic viability of such decentralized plants is making high-grade carbon from pyrolytic biochar. In the present study, Jatropha and Karanja oil seed cake-based biochar is obtained as a by-product in a pilot-scale (20 kg/h) direct gas-fired auger pyrolysis process at 500 °C under fast pyrolysis conditions that is originally aimed at maximizing the bio-oil yield. The biochar has low surface area and porosity. To value add to this carbon, downstream physical and chemical activation are carried out in an externally heated laboratory-scale reactor. CO2 activation resulted in the formation of activated carbon with BET surface area up to ~ 200 m2/g with marginal improvement in porosity, while K2CO3 activation enhanced the surface area to as high as 2400 m2/g along with substantial enhancement of porosity.


Jatropha oil seed cake Karanja oil seed cake Pyrolytic biochar Activated carbon Pore characteristics 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, India and Australia–India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for funding this research under the project titled “Integrated technologies for economically sustainable bio-based energy.”


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy and EnvironmentTERI UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI)New DelhiIndia

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