Thermochemical treatment of biomasses and development of bio-char utilization routes (TCHAR)

This project area develops solutions for product innovation through the application of the Thermo Catalytic Reforming (TCR) technology developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the application of new materials such as biochar from pyrolysis.

Thermo Catalytic Reforming

The TCR technology enables the enhancement of agro-industrial residues (especially digestate, sewage sludge, waste lignocellulosic, organic waste, residues of oleo-chemical industry processing and casting) with the triple advantage of producing renewable energy, reducing the volume of waste and generating biochar.

The group has experience and works with Fraunhofer UMSICHT to find synergies and integration within the current industrial processes.

In addition to direct application to industry, the project area drives the research and development of technology towards innovative aspects such as exploiting the high quality of the syngas to methanol synthesis and the use of hydrogen.
The development of applications related to biochar as an adsorbent substrate is also pursued.
The integration of these aspects is performed with dedicated instruments (ASPEN +) for calculating and optimizing the processes.


Biochar is a carbon sequester with high persistency in soil, reduces soil acidity, has a unique ability for attracting and holding moisture and agrochemicals, even retaining difficult to hold nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous.
Our mission is to develop a biochar value chain to support novel agro-ecology systems and ensure a safe and sustainable use in soil.

The research group fosters the diffusion of biochar through:

    • availability of an industrial analysis laboratory (up to 20 biochar samples/day) to perform proximity analysis and specific surface area
    • research on biochar as a compost improver together with compost producers (ENOCHAR);
    • dedicated plot with 5 years long biochar applications (see also LTEP-BIOCHAR)


      Agricultural use of biochar in Italy is regulated through the Ministerial Decree 12 August 2015, concerning the amendment to the annexes to Legislative Decree No 75 of 29 April 2010, 'Reorganisation and review of guidelines in relation to fertilisers pursuant to Article 13 of Law No. 88 of 7 July 2009

      For more information on the properties, functionalities and potentials of biochar, you can consult the materials of the UNEP Biochar for Sustainable Soils project and the following animation video.


      Customer segment

      • Compost producers
      • Agri-farms


      Biochar, Soil improver, Nutrients recovery


      Stefano Macrelli

      Cat. D - area tecnica, tecnico - scientifica ed elaborazione dati a tempo determinato
      Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali - CIRSA

      Via Sant'Alberto 163, Ravenna, Italy

      +39 0544 937356

      +39 0544 937411

      Write an e-mail

      Diego Marazza

      Junior assistant professor (fixed-term)
      Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

      Via Sant'Alberto 163, Ravenna, Italy

      +39 0544 937334

      +39 0544 937411

      Write an e-mail

      Go to the website