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Microwave pyrolysis of olive pomace for bio-oil and bio-char production

Williams, Orla S.A.; Kostas, Emily T.; Dur�n-Jim�nez, Gabriela; Shepherd, Benjamin J.; Meredith, Will; Stevens, Lee A.; Robinson, John P.; Lye, Gary J.

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Emily T. Kostas

Benjamin J. Shepherd

Senior Research Fellow

John P. Robinson

Gary J. Lye



Olive pomace is a widely available agro-industrial waste residue in Europe that has the potential to contribute towards a circular, low carbon bio-economy. This study demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to successfully pyrolyse olive pomace with microwaves for the production of bio-char and bio-oil. It was found that the energy requirement needed to pyrolyse up to 80% of the olive pomace was as low as 3.6?kJ/g and bio-oil yields up to 30% were produced. Microwave power did not influence the overall yields or the chemical composition of the obtained bio-oils, but did alter the textural properties of the generated bio-chars and their ability to remove methylene blue dye. Optimum processing conditions were found to be within the 3.6?kJ/g energy requirement with a microwave power of 200?W and processing time of 180 sec. These conditions produced a bio-oil fraction containing mainly acetic acid (71.9%) and a bio-char with a surface area of 392.3?m2/g, micropore volume of 0.15?cm3/g and a methylene blue removal efficiency of 40?qMB mg/g. The results acquired from this study reveal the superiority of microwave heating in a pyrolysis system and highlight a novel and prospective route for added value recovery from natural waste resources like olive pomace.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2019
Online Publication Date Nov 6, 2019
Publication Date May 1, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 7, 2020
Journal Chemical Engineering Journal
Print ISSN 1385-8947
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 387
Article Number 123404
Keywords Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; General Chemistry; General Chemical Engineering; Environmental Chemistry
Public URL
Publisher URL


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