Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 10429–10438 | Cite as

Harvesting zero waste from co-digested fruit and vegetable peels via integrated fermentation and pyrolysis processes

  • Mohamed Soltan
  • Mohamed ElsamadonyEmail author
  • Alsayed Mostafa
  • Hanem Awad
  • Ahmed Tawfik
Short Research and Discussion Article


The aim of this study is to assess an innovative economic approach for the production of both fermentative hydrogen and biochar from fruit and vegetable peels (FVPs) via fermentation/pyrolysis process. Firstly, in fermentation batches, multi-fermentation of FVPs positively affected the harvested hydrogen yield and COD reduction efficiency, which reached their maximal values of 3.9 ± 0.6 mmol/gCOD and 56.2 ± 4.6% at batch of 25% pea + 25% tomato + 25% banana + 25% orange (M4). Secondly, digestates produced from all batches were pyrolyzed at 500 °C for investigating the potential for biochar production. Based on the characteristics of the pyrolyzed digestate, biochar produced from S1 (spinach) exhibited the highest specific surface area, density, pore volume, biochar production yield, and pyrolysis profit of 28.43 ± 3.95 m2/g, 1.93 ± 0.18 g/cm3, 0.59 ± 0.08 cm3/g, 59.04 ± 2.36%, and 3.66 $/kgfeedstock, respectively. However, the maximum overall profit from both fermentation and pyrolysis processes was 5.21 $/kgfeedstock and was denoted for M4.


Fruit and vegetable peels Hydrogen production Biochar Net energy gain 



The first author would like to thank the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) for providing him the financial support (Ph.D. scholarship) for this research as well as the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) for offering facility and tools needed to conduct this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Soltan
    • 1
  • Mohamed Elsamadony
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alsayed Mostafa
    • 3
  • Hanem Awad
    • 4
  • Ahmed Tawfik
    • 5
  1. 1.Environmental Engineering DepartmentEgypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-Just)New Borg El Arab CityEgypt
  2. 2.Public Works Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringTanta UniversityTanta CityEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringInha UniversityIncheonSouth Korea
  4. 4.Tanning Materials & Proteins DepartmentNational Research CentreGizaEgypt
  5. 5.Water Pollution Research DepartmentNational Research CentreGizaEgypt

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