The role of thermo-catalytic reforming for energy recovery from food and drink supply chain wastes

Marie E. Kirby*, Andreas Hornung, Miloud Ouadi, Michael K. Theodorou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Disposal of food and drink wastes, including packaging wastes, has a significant cost and environmental impact. All carbon containing wastes have an energy potential and the food industry should focus on recovering that energy to offset their reliance on fossil-fuel derived energy sources. This paper focuses on the novel use of intermediate pyrolysis for decarbonizing the food chain, through the treatment of food and packaging waste, to recover energy. The TCR is a versatile technology which overcomes many of the traditional problems associated with fast pyrolysis and can thermo-chemically convert a range of different feedstocks, including inaccessible lignin and some inorganic, recalcitrant materials. The feedstocks are converted into new fuel sources; char, bio-oil (thermally stable) and permanent gases, for further electrical and heat generation. Ultimately with the use of the TCR technology, the food production industry could look to using decentralized power generation located on-site of large food processing facilities to optimize their energy efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Procedia
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Event1st International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Resource Use in Food Chains: ICSEF 2017 - , United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Apr 201720 Apr 2017


  • Decarbonisation
  • Food chain waste
  • Intermediate pyrolysis
  • Thermo-catalytic reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)


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