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

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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.

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Fondazione Edmund Mach in San Michele all’Adige (TN), Italy, is fully acknowledged for supplying the wood ash.

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Correspondence to Lidia Lombardi.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Lombardi, L., Costa, G. & Spagnuolo, R. Accelerated carbonation of wood combustion ash for CO2 removal from gaseous streams and storage in solid form. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35855–35865 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2159-z

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  • Biogas
  • Upgrading
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Biomethane
  • Accelerated carbonation
  • Alkaline residues
  • Wood ash
  • Leaching