Fast pyrolysis of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) waste in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor

Yassir Makkawi*, Yehya El Sayed, Mubarak Salih, Paul Nancarrow, Scott Banks, Tony Bridgwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents the first experimental investigation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) waste fast pyrolysis in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor. The physiochemical characteristics of the feedstock (from cultivars grown in the Emirate of Sharjah in the UAE), including three anatomical parts of the plant, namely, leaves, leaf stems and empty fruit bunches, have been first analyzed and compared to other popular type of biomass. These components have been subjected to fast pyrolysis and mass balances have been derived. The fast pyrolysis products (bio-oil, and non-condensable gas) have been analyzed in terms of their chemical composition, thermogravimetric profiles, and energy content. The overall product distribution in mass percentage at the pyrolysis temperature of 525 ºC was found to be 38.8% bio-oil (including 10.4% reaction water), 37.2% biochar and 24.0% non-condensable gas. The overall energy conversion efficiency (ratio of energy content in the product to that in the feedstock) was found to be 87.0%, thus indicative of the good potential of converting the date palm waste to energy while eliminating the negative environmental impact and cost associated with waste disposal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable energy
Early online date10 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Funding: American University of Sharjah (AUS) Grant FRG 16-R-27.


  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • Date palm waste
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Fluidized bed reactor
  • Renewable energy


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