Using CO2 as an Oxidant in the Catalytic Pyrolysis of Peat Moss from the North Polar Region

Taewoo Lee, Sungyup Jung, Jinkyu Hong, Chi Hwa Wang, Daniel S. Alessi, Sang Soo Lee, Young Kwon Park, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


As global warming and climate change become perceived as significant, the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) stored in the earth's polar regions is considered a matter of concern. Here, we focused on exploiting GHGs to address potential global warming challenges in the north polar regions. In particular, we used CO2 as a soft oxidant to recover energy as syngas (CO and H2) and to produce biochars from pyrolysis of peat moss. CO2 expedited homogeneous reaction with volatile matters from peat moss pyrolysis, and the mechanistic CO2 role resulted in the conversion of CO2 and peat moss to CO at ≥530 °C. Steel slag waste was then used as an ex situ catalyst to increase reaction kinetics, addressing the issue of the role of CO2 being limited to ≥530 °C, with the result where substantial H2 and CO formation was achieved at a milder temperature. The porosity of biochars, a solid peat moss pyrolysis product, was modified in the presence of CO2, with a significant improvement in CO2 adsorption capacity compared to those achieved by N2 pyrolysis. Therefore, CO2 has the potential to serve as an initial feedstock in sustainable biomass-to-energy applications and biochar production, mitigating atmospheric carbon concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6329-6343
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 19 May 2020


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