Biomass is one of the most suitable options to be used as renewable energy source due to its extensive availability and its contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass under appropriate conditions (slow heating rate and high temperatures) can produce a quality solid product, which could be applicable to several metallurgical processes as reducing agent (biocoke or bioreducer). Two woody biomass samples (olives and eucalyptus) were pyrolyzed to produce biocoke. These biocokes were characterized by means of proximate and ultimate analysis, real density, specific surface area, and porosity and were compared with three commercial reducing agents. Finally, reactivity tests were performed both with the biocokes and with the commercial reducing agents. Bioreducers have lower ash and sulfur contents than commercial reducers, higher surface area and porosity, and consequently, much higher reactivity. Bioreducers are not appropriate to be used as top burden in blast furnaces, but they can be used as fuel and reducing agent either tuyére injected at the lower part of the blast furnace or in non-ferrous metallurgical processes where no mechanical strength is needed as, for example, in rotary kilns.
Keywords: biocoke; biomass; bioreducer; slow pyrolysis.