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Catalytic Pyrolysis of Municipal Solid Waste: Effects of Pyrolysis Parameters

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Madinah, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Madinah, Madinah, Saudi Arabia

3King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia

4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 7 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

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Received: 2 Mar 2021; Revised: 17 Mar 2021; Accepted: 17 Mar 2021; Available online: 18 Mar 2021; Published: 30 Jun 2021.
Editor(s): Istadi Istadi, Mohd Asmadi Mohammed Yussuf, Salman Raza Naqvi, Nor Saidina-Amin
Open Access Copyright (c) 2021 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Burning municipal solid waste (MSW) increases CO2, CH4, and SO2 emissions, leading to an increase in global warming, encouraging governments and researchers to search for alternatives. The pyrolysis process converts MSW to oil, gas, and char. This study investigated catalytic and noncatalytic pyrolysis of MSW to produce oil using MgO-based catalysts. The reaction temperature, catalyst loading, and catalyst support were evaluated. Magnesium oxide was supported on active carbon (AC) and Al2O3 to assess the role of support in MgO catalyst activity. The liquid yields varied from 30 to 54 wt% based on the experimental conditions. For the noncatalytic pyrolysis experiment, the highest liquid yield was 54 wt% at 500 °C. The results revealed that adding MgO, MgO/Al2O3, and MgO/AC declines the liquid yield and increases the gas yield. The catalysts exhibited significant deoxygenation activity, which enhances the quality of the pyrolysis oil and increases the heating value of the bio-oil. Of the catalysts that had high deoxygenation activity, MgO/AC had the highest relative yield. The loading of MgO/AC varied from 5 to 30 wt% of feed to the pyrolysis reactor. As the catalyst load increases, the liquid yield declines, while the gas and char yields increase. Copyright © 2021 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group. This is an open access article under the CC BY-SA License (


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Keywords: Municipal Solid Waste; Pyrolysis; Bio-oil; Catalytic Pyrolysis; Waste Management
Funding: Scientific Research Deanship, Islamic University of Madinah

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