Bio-syngas production with low concentrations of CO2 and CH4 from microwave-induced pyrolysis of wet and dried sewage sludge

A. Domínguez, Y. Fernández, B. Fidalgo, J. J. Pis, J. A. Menéndez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


This paper assesses the feasibility of producing syngas from sewage sludge via two pyrolysis processes: microwave-induced pyrolysis (MWP) and conventional pyrolysis (CP). The changes in the composition of the produced gas as a function of the pyrolysis treatment and the initial moisture content of the sludge were evaluated. It was found that MWP produced a gas with a higher concentration of syngas than CP, reaching values of up to 94 vol%. Moreover, this gas showed a CO2 and CH4 concentration around 50% and 70%, respectively, lower than that obtained in the gas from CP. With respect to the effect of moisture on gas composition, this was more pronounced in CP than in MWP. Thus, the presence of moisture increases the concentration of H2 and CO2 and decreases that of CO, especially when CP was used. In order to elucidate the behaviour of CO2 during the pyrolysis, the CO2 gasification kinetics of the char obtained from the pyrolysis were investigated. It was established that in microwave heating the gasification reaction is much more favoured than in conventional heating. Therefore, the low concentration of CO2 and the high concentration of CO in the microwave pyrolysis gas could be due to the self-gasification of the residue by the CO2 produced during the devolatilization of the sewage sludge in the pyrolysis process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Microwave
  • Pyrolysis
  • Sewage sludge
  • Syngas

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