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Does the Segregation of Wood Waste from Amazonia Improve the Quality of Charcoal Produced in Brick Kilns?

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The multiple-species raw material and the poorly controlled carbonization in brick kilns are drawbacks for producing homogeneous and high-quality charcoal with the wood wastes derived from the sustainable forest management plans in Amazon. How much improvement is possible with the previous grouping of woods with similar properties is still unknown. Thus, the objective of this work was to compare the quality of charcoals derived from previously segregated into four distinct groups and non-segregated (traditional carbonization) wood wastes of 23 Amazon species carbonized in brick kilns. Charcoals were characterized by apparent relative density (ARD), moisture content (MC), friability (F), fixed carbon content (FC), volatile matter content (VM), ash content (AC), higher heating value (HHV), and energy density (ED). The group formed by the species Dinizia excelsa provided charcoals with the best quality (ARD = 0.737 g/cm3, AC = 1.20%, HHV = 28.9 MJ/kg, and ED = 21.3 MJ/m3). In contrast, traditional carbonization generated highly heterogeneous and friable charcoals. The segregation promoted average improvements of 22.0, 9.4, 2.0, 2.3, 1.0, and 23.6% in ARD, AC, FC, F, HHV, and ED of the charcoals, respectively. These results encourage the steel industry since it requires high-quality charcoal from legal sources for iron ore reduction.

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The authors are grateful for the support of the Laboratory for Technology of Forest Products of the Federal Rural University of Amazonia (UFRA, Brazil), the Multiuser Laboratory of Biomaterials and Biomass Energy of the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA, Brazil), and Embrapa Eastern Amazon. We would like to especially thank the following people who played an important role in the laboratory stages of this project: Eidy Regina Oliveira da Silva, Eliana Martins de Sousa, Sindy Daniela Ferreira Sozinho, and Raimunda Marcia Souza dos Santos.


This work was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq—process no. 306793/2019–9), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES—finance code 001), Banco da Amazonia (financial support contract no. 2018/193), and Keilla Group.

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Correspondence to Michael Douglas Roque Lima.

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Barros, D.d., Lima, M.D.R., Dias Junior, A.F. et al. Does the Segregation of Wood Waste from Amazonia Improve the Quality of Charcoal Produced in Brick Kilns?. Bioenerg. Res. 16, 1604–1617 (2023).

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