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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 137580, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/137580
Research Article

The Physical and Chemical Properties of Fine Carbon Particles-Pinewood Resin Blends and Their Possible Utilization

1Institute of Technology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
2Department of Chemistry, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa

Received 17 October 2014; Revised 31 March 2015; Accepted 1 April 2015

Academic Editor: Kaustubha Mohanty

Copyright © 2015 Aviwe Melapi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The application of biomass gasification technology is very important in the sense that it helps to relieve the dwindling supply of natural gas from fossil fuels, and the desired product of its gasification process is syngas. This syngas is a mixture of CO and H2; however, by-products such as char, tar, soot, ash, and condensates are also produced. This study, therefore, investigated selected by-products recovered from the gasification process of pinewood chips with specific reference to their potential application in other areas when used as blends. Three samples of the gasification by-products were obtained from a downdraft biomass gasifier system and were characterized in terms of chemical and physical properties. FTIR analysis confirmed similar spectra in all char-resin blends. For fine carbon particles- (soot-) resin blends, almost the same functional groups as observed in char-resin blends appeared. In bomb calorimeter measurements, 70% resin/30% char blends gave highest calorific value, followed by 50% resin/50% soot blends with values of 35.23 MJ/kg and 34.75 MJ/kg consecutively. Provided these by-products meet certain criteria, they could be used in other areas such as varnishes, water purification, and wind turbine blades.