Pore volume upgrade of biochar from spent coffee grounds by sodium bicarbonate during torrefaction

Wei Hsin Chen, Jyun Ting Du, Kuan Ting Lee, Hwai Chyuan Ong, Young Kwon Park, Chien Chang Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A novel approach for upgrading the pore volume of biochar at low temperatures using a green additive of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is developed in this study. The biochar was produced from spent coffee grounds (SCGs) torrefied at different temperatures (200–300 °C) with different residence times (30–60 min) and NaHCO3 concentrations (0–8.3 wt%). The results reveal that the total pore volume of biochar increases with rising temperature, residence time, or NaHCO3 aqueous solution concentration, whereas the bulk density has an opposite trend. The specific surface area and total pore volume of pore-forming SCG from 300 °C torrefaction for 60 min with an 8.3 wt% NaHCO3 solution (300-TP-SCG) are 42.050 m2 g−1 and 0.1389 cm3·g−1, accounting for the improvements of 141% and 76%, respectively, compared to the parent SCG. The contact angle (126°) and water activity (0.48 aw) of 300-TP-SCG reveal that it has long storage time. The CO2 uptake capacity of 300-TP-SCG is 0.32 mmol g−1, rendering a 39% improvement relative to 300-TSCG, namely, SCG torrefied at 300 °C for 60 min. 300-TP-SCG has higher HHV (28.31 MJ·kg−1) and lower ignition temperature (252 °C). Overall, it indicates 300-TP-SCG is a potential fuel substitute for coal. This study has successfully produced mesoporous biochar at low temperatures to fulfill “3E”, namely, energy (biofuel), environment (biowaste reuse solid waste), and circular economy (bioadsorbent).

Original languageEnglish
Article number129999
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Bioadsorbent
  • Bioeconomy
  • Pore volume upgrade
  • Spent coffee grounds
  • Torrefaction
  • Waste reuse


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