Development and rheological characterisation of an industrial liquid fuel consisting of charcoal dispersed in water


Developing an industrial liquid fuel based on charcoal and water was the target of the present work. The relevance of this study is justified by the high energy potential of charcoal, its renewable nature, the easiness of storage and transportation in the liquid form, and by all the associated economic and environmental advantages derived thereof. The ability of a commercially available charcoal to be dispersed in water was evaluated by analysing the rheological behaviour of the resulting charcoal water slurries (ChWS). The charcoal was ground in a conventional ball mill and dispersed in water with the aid of different surfactants. The effects of the most relevant factors influencing the rheological properties of the suspensions were evaluated, including: (i) type of surfactant and its added amount on the fuel viscosity (eta) at a given solids fraction; (ii) the charcoal content, which should be as high as possible. The results enabled selecting the most efficient surfactant and its optimal amount required for minimising the fuel viscosity (eta) and enhancing the stability of the suspensions. Stable ChWS containing 60 wt.% solids and 1 wt.% surfactant and exhibiting adequate flow properties were successfully obtained. (C) 2017 Energy Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



subject category

Energy & Fuels


Loureiro, LMEF; Gil, PBF; de Campos, FVV; Nunes, LJR; Ferreira, JMF

our authors


This work was supported by European Union funds through FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional, QREN - Quadro de Referencia Estrategica Nacional and the North Portugal Regional Operational Programme 2007/2013 (ON.2 - O Novo Norte), under the projects nr. 18068, and the PT2020 Partnership Agreement through the COMPETE, by the Portuguese Government through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in the scope of the projects UID/CTM/50011/2013 (Aveiro Institute of Materials, CICECO, and the fellowship grant Reference PTDC/CTM/99489/2008.

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