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Slow pyrolysis as a method for biochar production from carob waste: Process investigation and products’ characterization

  • Autori: Maniscalco M.; Infurna G.; Caputo G.; Botta L.; Dintcheva N.;
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The zero-waste city challenge of the modern society is inevitably addressed to the development of model’s waste-to-energy. In this work, carob waste, largely used in the agro-industrial sector for sugar extraction or locust beangum (LBG) production, is considered as feedstock for the slow pyrolysis process. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in 2012, the world production of carobs was ca. 160,000 tons, mainly concentrated in the Mediterranean area (Spain, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, and Greece). To evaluate the biomass composition, at first, the carob waste was subjected to thermo-gravimetric analysis. The high content of fixed carbon suggests that carobs are a plausible candidate for pyrolysis conversion to biochar particles. The thermal degradation of the carob waste proceeds by four different steps related to the water and volatile substances’ removal, degradation of hemicellulose, lignin and cellulose degradation, and lignin decomposition. Considering this, the slow pyrolysis was carried out at three different temperatures, specifically, at 280, 340, and 400◦C, and the obtained products were characterized. Varying the processing temperature, the proportion of individual products’ changes with a reduction in the solid phase and an increase in liquid and gas phases, with an increase in the pyrolysis temperature. The obtained results suggest that carob waste can be considered a suitable feedstock for biochar production, rather than for fuels’ recovery.