Joan Josep Manyà
My research interests lie primarily in producing biomass-derived carbon materials through thermochemical conversion processes. These renewable-based carbons, which can replace the currently dominant fossil fuel-intensive materials, and then drive innovative and sustainable technologies with circular economy practices.
I began my research career by working on thermochemical conversion of biomass, with a special focus on the behaviour and kinetics of biomass pyrolysis and gasification. In the last years, however, I directed my research activity towards the production of biomass-derived chars for biochar (i.e., char added to soil) and other value-added applications. Since the economic feasibility of large-scale biochar production systems is still unclear (the potential agronomic and environmental benefits of biochar in terms of profit are difficult to quantify), developing biochar-derived engineered carbons for alternative uses other than soil amendment can significantly increase the value chain of the whole system, as well as generate new technologies for biomass upcycling. Among the potential uses of biochar-derived carbons, I particularly centred my attention on three research topics: adsorption in gas phase (e.g., CO2 adsorption in postcombustion conditions), heterogeneous catalysis (e.g., ex situ pyrolysis vapours upgrading), and carbon-based electrodes for energy storage applications (e.g., post-lithium Na- and K-ion batteries).
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