Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol.358, 759-785, 2019
Biofuel Production Using Thermochemical Conversion of Heavy Metal-Contaminated Biomass (HMCB) Harvested from Phytoextraction Process
Over the past few decades, bioenergy production from heavy metal-contaminated biomasses (HMCBs) has been drawing increasing attention from scientists in diverse disciplines and countries owing to their potential roles in addressing both energy crisis and environmental challenges. In this review, bioenergy recovery from HMCBs, i.e. contaminated plants and energy crops, using thermochemical processes (pyrolysis, gasification, combustion, and liquefaction) has been scrutinized. Furthermore, the necessity of the implementation of practical strategies towards sustainable phytoextraction and metal-free biofuels production has been critically discussed. To meet this aim, the paper firstly delivers the fundamental concepts regarding the remediation of the brownfields using phytoremediation approach, and then, reviews recent literature on sustainable phytoextraction of heavy metals from polluted soils. Thereafter, to find out the possibility of the cost-efficient production of metal-free biofuels from HMCBs using thermochemical methods, the impacts of various influential factors, such as the type of feedstock and metals contents, the reactor type and operating conditions, and the role of probable pre-/post-treatment on the fate of heavy metals and the quality of products, have also been discussed. Finally, based on relevant empirical results and techno-economic assessment (TEA) studies, the present paper sheds light on pyrolysis as the most promising thermochemical technique for large-scale electricity and heat recovery from HMCBs.