(47c) Co-Pyrolysis of Organic Waste for Sustainable Waste Management and Alternate Energy Generation | AIChE

(47c) Co-Pyrolysis of Organic Waste for Sustainable Waste Management and Alternate Energy Generation


Mishra, A. - Presenter, IIT Kharagpur
Meikap, B. C., IIT Kharagpur
Background and Motivation

According to the report published by the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE), around 500 Mt of biomass is produced in India annually, of which the agricultural residue comprises 30%. These agricultural residues are capable of generating 18,000 MW of energy. However, more than 50% of this valuable feedstock is burnt in the open fields. The consequences of stubble burning are evident in cities like Delhi in Northern India, leading to thick, dense smog covering the entire atmosphere at the beginning of winter. This smog has detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Besides, it also ruins the agricultural economy by burning potentially valuable feedstock. The depletion of fossil fuels and significant GHG emissions from them are challenges that need to be addressed simultaneously. There are sincere efforts by the UN to promote sustainable renewable sources of energy and reduce half of the GHG emissions from fossil fuels by 2050.

Scope of the Study

Pyrolysis has gained attention for its energy recovery, waste management, and environmental conservation. But the bio-oil obtained from the pyrolysis of biomass has low heating value and high oxygen content due to less hydrogen to carbon effective ratio (H/C)eff, . Thus, recommending the need for bio-oil upgradation using co-pyrolysis with other organic wastes like waste motor oil having a high (H/C)eff ratio. Hence, this work explores the co-pyrolytic study of rice stubble and waste motor oil.

Materials and Methods

Rice stubble left in the field after harvesting was collected from farming land at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. The rice stubble was washed, sundried, and pulverized before storage in air-tight containers. The waste motor oil was procured from the Tech Market within the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur India premises. The feedstock was stored in an air-tight container for further use.

In the present study, a semi-batch approach is explored to optimize the co-pyro-oil yield and enhance the quality of the pyrolytic oil.


The yield of the co-pyro-oil increased drastically with the increase in the percentage of waste motor oil. Besides, the co-pyrolysis of these organic wastes resulted in improved aliphatic content and reduced oxygenates, encouraging its adequacy as an alternate fuel.


The finding of this research article will help design and develop a continuous and cost-effective pyrolyzer for recovering alternate energy, thereby increasing the sustainability of the co-pyrolysis of organic wastes in the future. However, the main goal of this research is to encourage engineers, researchers, and manufacturers to promote high-grade pyro-oil made from the co-pyrolysis of rice stubble and waste motor oil as a viable renewable alternative to fossil fuels.