Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 521–532 | Cite as

Characterization and Process Optimization of Biochar Produced Using Novel Biomass, Waste Pomegranate Peel: A Response Surface Methodology Approach

  • M. T. H. SiddiquiEmail author
  • Sabzoi NizamuddinEmail author
  • N. M. MubarakEmail author
  • Khaula Shirin
  • Muhammad Aijaz
  • Munir Hussain
  • Humair Ahmed Baloch
Original Paper


Agricultural waste is considered as a burden all over the world due to its disposal issues. In this research an effort is made to utilize agricultural residue for the production of cost effective and environmental friendly fuel. The study also focused on investigation of role of best process conditions to get optimized biochar (OB) from the slow pyrolysis of novel biomass, waste pomegranate peel (WPP). The effect and interaction of process parameters including reaction temperature, reaction time and particle size was optimized using central composite design of response surface methodology. The optimized process parameters were found at temperature of 300 °C, reaction time of 20 min and the particle size of 3 mm producing maximum 54.9% of biochar yield. Furthermore, the WPP and OB were considered and compared for physical and chemical analyses including scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis, and higher heating value (HHV), proximate and ultimate analysis. Considerable modification in structure has been seen in the product which can be observed by SEM analysis. In result of thermal processing through pyrolysis, HHV of OB was improved to 23.5 from 14.61 MJ/kg of parent biomass.


Waste pomegranate peel Biochar Slow pyrolysis Response surface methodology Central composite design 



Three dimensional


Analysis of variances


American Standard Testing Materials




Central composite design


Design of Expert


Fixed carbon

F test

Fischer test


Fourier transform infrared




Higher heating value




Response surface methodology


Scanning electron microscopy


Thermo-gravimetric analysis


Waste pomegranate peel


Volatile matter


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and ScienceCurtin UniversityMiriMalaysia
  3. 3.Fuel Research Centre (FRC)Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR)KarachiPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Polymer and Applied SciencePCSIR Laboratories ComplexKarachiPakistan
  5. 5.Muhammad Ali Jinnah UniversityKarachiPakistan

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