Characterization of Bio-oil and Bio-char from Pyrolysis of Palm Oil Wastes

Faisal Abnisa, Arash Arami-Niya, W. M A Wan Daud, J. N. Sahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


The residues from the palm oil industry are the main contributors to biomass waste in Malaysia, and these wastes require extra attention with respect to handling. The biomass waste is a renewable resource that can potentially be used to produce absorbents, fuels, and chemical feedstocks through the pyrolysis process. In this study, the wastes of palm shell, empty fruit bunches, and mesocarp fiber were characterized and then pyrolyzed in a fixed-bed reactor under the following conditions: a temperature of 500 °C, a nitrogen flow rate of 2 L/min and reaction time of 60 min. After pyrolysis, characterization of the products with an emphasis on the bio-oil and the bio-char was performed using various approaches (including Karl Fischer water-content tests, FTIR, SEM, TGA and CNH/O analyses). The results showed that the pyrolysis of palm oil wastes yielded more bio-oil than bio-char or non-condensable gases. The results also indicated that all of the bio-oils were acidic and contained high levels of oxygen. The bio-oils heating values were low and varied from 10. 49 MJ/kg to 14. 78 MJ/kg. The heating values of the bio-chars (20-30 MJ/kg) were higher than those of the bio-oils. Among the biomasses studied in this work, palm shell contained the highest level of lignin and showed the highest levels of bio-char yield and fixed and elemental carbon in the raw and bio-char form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-840
Number of pages11
JournalBioEnergy Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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