The main objectives of the research programme are:

  1. Developing engineered thermochemical processes (based on pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonisation from dry and wet biomass sources, respectively) to produce tailor-made biomass-derived carbons (BCs).
  2. Developing novel low-cost carbon materials from BCs through a unique set of functionalisation protocols.
  3. Using the resulting carbon materials in advanced applications in heterogeneous catalysis for renewable energy as well as pollutants removal.
  4. Analysing the feasibility of using BCs as soil enhancers and CO2 capture and sequestration agents.


The research programme of GreenCarbon consists of four strongly interconnected and interdependent work packages (WPs) 4–7.

Lead Beneficiary: UGent
Other partners involved: UNIZAR, AstonU, FHG, Organics, DBFZ, Pyreg
ESRs involved: ESR 1, ESR 2, ESR 3; ESR 4
Objective: developing engineered pyrolysis processes –that can be taken to market– from dry biowaste sources with the view to produce tailor-made BCs.
Main tasks:

  • Selection of several dry waste biomass samples in terms of potential sustainability
  • Setting the most appropriate slow pyrolysis process conditions (e.g., pressure, peak temperature, residence time of the vapour phase)
  • Continuous intermediate pyrolysis: assessing the effect of the operating conditions on the properties of the produced BCs
  • Simultaneous production of BC and bio-oil by fast pyrolysis: establishing the best set of operating conditions
  • Development and validation of a comprehensive pyrolysis/carbonisation model

Lead Beneficiary: UHOH
Other partners involved: UGent, AstonU, FHG, AVA-CO2
ESRs involved: ESR 5, ESR 6, ESR 7
Objective: developing engineered HTC processes from wet biowaste sources and lignin-containing streams with the view to produce tailor-made hydrochars; to explore the possibility to simultaneously obtain 5-HMF and other valuable platform chemicals.
Main tasks:

  • Selection of several wet waste biomass samples (including lignin obtained within a lignocellulosic biorefinery framework) in terms of potential sustainability
  • Setting the most appropriate HTC process conditions in terms of BC quality and composition of the process liquid
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation and its integration with pyrolysis

Lead Beneficiary: QMUL
Other partners involved: SU, UNIZAR, UHOH, UGent, AVA-CO2, Pyreg, SMS, Viridor, Biokol
ESRs involved: ESR 8, ESR 9, ESR 10; ESR 11, ESR 12
Objective: to ensure that the resulting BCs produced in WP 4 and WP 5 will be implemented in key industrial technologies adding thus value to biowaste, closing loops in biowaste utilisation and linking the biowaste sector with materials and chemical industries.
Main tasks:

  • Development of low-cost BC-derived adsorbents for CO2 capture in post-combustion
  • Development of low-cost BC-derived adsorbents for biogas desulphurisation
  • Development of novel metal/BC-supported catalysts for hydrogen production from pyrolysis gas
  • Development of novel magnetic catalysts for 5-HMF synthesis through HTC

Lead Beneficiary: UEdin
Other partners involved: UGent, UHOH, AVA-CO2, Freeland
ESRs involved: ESR 13, ESR 14
Objective: to integrate expertise across the network, focusing on identifying synergistic sequences for BC uses, spanning engineering, agricultural and horticultural applications, in order to maximise the added value and minimise carbon footprint across the whole chain.
Main tasks:

  • Characterisation of BCs and BC-derived materials with the view of their final land use
  • Identifying opportunities for sequential uses of biochar