Comparison of bio-oils derived from crop digestate treated through conventional and microwave pyrolysis as an alternative route for further waste valorization

Nidia Diaz Perez (Corresponding Author), Christian Lindfors, Lambertus A.M. van den Broek, Jacinta van der Putten, William Meredith, John Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A total of 120,000 tonnes per year of crop waste from contaminated land has been used as a feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD). This produces only around 20% of biogas from the total crop and results in a large amount of digestate with heavy metal content. This crop digestate was analyzed across a calendar year to identify the variation in composition, and any potential high-value components that could be targeted for recovery. The chemical characterization revealed that approximately 65% of this residual waste is lignocellulosic material (20% hemicellulose, 24% cellulose, 24% lignin) and about 10% is ash, with no observable difference across the seasons. Three different pyrolysis technologies were studied with the same crop digestate as alternative route to maximize the value of this solid residue by transforming this lignocellulosic material into further bio-based products. Slow pyrolysis at operating temperatures between 355 and 530 °C resulted in bio-oil yields of 35–46% wt, fast pyrolysis at 460–560 °C produced 36–40% wt, and microwave pyrolysis using a power input of 500 and 700 W generated 8–27% wt from the digestate. Chemical compounds found in these bio-oils were categorized into seven chemical groups: acids, aldehydes and ketones, alcohols, furans, sugars, phenolics, and others. This analytical study opens other scenarios to explore the upgrading of these pyrolytic bio-oils for green product generation from the same waste. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Circular economy
  • Decarbonization
  • Lignocellulose

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