Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Berruti, Franco

2nd Supervisor

Briens, Cedric L.



Pyrolytic biochar has recently gained attention for its potential value as a carbon sequestering by-product that can be used in industrial applications. While biochar is typically targeted for soil amendment applications, higher value applications such as addition in consumer products and building materials needs to be investigated.

In this study, biochar is produced from three different Canadian feedstocks using three different pyrolysis methods. The biochar is characterized to determine the effects that feedstock selection and pyrolysis conditions has on biochar properties. The biochar is also incorporated into concrete at varying concentrations to create a lightweight and sustainable material. The effect of biochar addition on the mechanical strength, as well as the thermal and acoustic properties of the concrete is studied. Biochar was also added to polymer composites. The carbon microstructure was analyzed, and the effects of biochar on the dielectric properties of the composite material was determined.