Pyrolysis of oil palm biomass using palm shell char as microwave absorber

Arshad Adam Salema, Farid Nasir Ani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The main aim of this research was to reveal the heating characteristics of palm shell char (PSC) acting as a microwave absorber (MA) for the pyrolysis of oil palm biomass (shell and fibre). This was done by mixing oil palm biomass with PSC-MA and subjecting it to microwave irradiation. A domestic microwave oven with a maximum power of 1000 W and 2.45 GHz frequency was used. Prior to pyrolysis, the heating characteristic of PSC-MA in terms of its temperature profile (through batch and continuous temperature measurements) was examined. It was found that PSC-MA could act as very good microwave receptor. However, the method of temperature measurement played an important role in the heating and pyrolysis behaviour. A minimum microwave power of 450 W was needed to carry out the pyrolysis process in the present work. Results of the microwave pyrolysis show that the ratio of biomass to PSC-MA has a significant influence on the product yield. A synergistic effect between PSC-MA and the biomass can reduce the consumption of energy, time and cost of the thermo-chemical process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1510
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Oil Palm Research
Issue numberDecember
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-oil
  • Microwave pyrolysis
  • Oil palm biomass
  • Palm shell char
  • Temperature profiles

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