Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Lauren Briens


Biochar has shown potential as a soil amendment, but is a fine powder that is difficult to handle and would be blown away if applied to soils without modifications. Wet drum granulation of cornstalk biochar using binder solutions of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose was initially investigated, establishing that biochar could be granulated into a form that would be easier to handle and apply effectively to the soil. Biochars from three different feedstocks were then tested along with three binder solutions. The biochar granules were free flowing and relatively strong with a significant yield between a size range of 1 to 4 mm. The binder concentration, total binder solution volume and drum rotational speed affected both the optimal granule size yield and granule strength to different extents depending on the biochar and binder combination. The research showed that biochar could be granulated using wet drum granulation with adjustment of process parameters to ensure production of granules with specified properties.