This paper describes the conventional and microwave-assisted pyrolysis of coffee hulls at 500, 800 and 1000 °C. The influence of the pyrolysis method and temperature on the product yields and on the characteristics of the pyrolysis products is discussed. It was found that the pyrolysis of this particular residue gives rise to a larger yield of the gas fraction compared to the other fractions, even at relatively low temperatures. A comparison of microwave-assisted pyrolysis and conventional pyrolysis showed that microwave treatment produces more gas and less oil than conventional pyrolysis. In addition, the gas from the microwave has much higher H2 and syngas (H2 + CO) contents (up to 40 and 72 vol.%, respectively) than those obtained by conventional pyrolysis (up to 30 and 53 vol.%, respectively), in an electric furnace, at similar temperatures. From the pyrolysis fraction yields and their higher heating values it was found that the energy distribution in the pyrolysis products decreases as follows: gas > solid > oil. Moreover, the energy accumulated in the gas increases with the pyrolysis temperature. By contrast, the energy accumulated in the char decreases with the temperature. This effect is enhanced when microwave pyrolysis is used.
- Coffee hulls