Food and market waste – a pathway to sustainable fuels and waste valorization

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Food and market waste (FMW) is one of the most abundant unrecycled products which poses waste management issues and negative environmental impacts. Thermo-Catalytic Reforming (TCR®) is a pyrolysis based technology which can convert a wide range of biomass wastes into energy vectors bio-oil, syngas and char. This paper investigates the conversion potential of FMW into sustainable biofuels. The FMW was processed using a laboratory scale 2 kg/h TCR® reactor. The process produced 7 wt% organic bio-oil, 53 wt% permanent gas and 22 wt% char. The bio-oil higher heating value (HHV) was found to be 36.72 MJ/kg, comparable to biodiesel and contained a low oxygen content (< 5%) due to cracking of higher molecular weight organics. Naphthalene was detected to be the most abundant aromatic compound within the oil, with relative abundance of 12.95% measured by GC–MS. The total acid number of the oil (TAN) and viscosity were 11.7 mg KOH/g and 6.3 cSt respectively. The gross calorific value of the produced biochar was 23.64 MJ/kg, while the permanent gas showed a higher heating value of approximately 17 MJ/Nm3. Methane (CH4) was found to be the largest fraction in the permanent gases reaching over 23%. This resulted either due to the partial methanation of bio-syngas over the catalytically active FMW biochar or the hydrogenation of coke deposited on the biochar in the post reforming stage.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9843-9850
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number10
Early online date11 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019