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Accelerated carbonation of wood combustion ash for CO2 removal from gaseous streams and storage in solid form

Lombardi, Lidia, Costa, Giulia, Spagnuolo, Riccardo
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.36 pp. 35855-35865
barium, biogas, bottom ash, calcium hydroxide, carbon dioxide, carbonates, carbonation, chromium, combustion, leaching, markets, particle size, streams, sulfates, waste incineration, wood, wood ash
In this work, ash generated by the combustion of wood in a central heating plant was used to remove and permanently store by accelerated carbonation CO₂ contained in a gas mixture simulating biogas. The process was studied as an alternative treatment to the ones currently available on the market for biogas upgrading. The process was investigated at laboratory scale by setting up a facility for directly contacting the wood ash and the synthetic biogas in a fixed bed reactor. The process was able to completely remove CO₂ during its initial phase. After about 30 h, CO₂ started to appear again in the outlet stream and its concentration rapidly increased. The specific CO₂ uptake achieved in solid carbonate form was of about 200 g/kg of dry wood ash. This value is an order of magnitude higher than the ones found for waste incineration bottom ash carrying out similar experiments. The difference was ascribed to the physicochemical properties of the ash, characterized by a fine particle size (d₅₀ < 0.2 mm) and high content of reactive phases with CO₂ (e.g., Ca hydroxides). The leaching behavior of the wood ash was examined before and after the accelerated carbonation process showing that the release of several elements was lower after the treatment; Ba leaching in particular decreased by over two orders of magnitude. However, the release of the critical elements for the management of this type of residues (especially Cr and sulfates) appeared not to be significantly affected, while V leaching increased.