Converting biowaste streams into energy–leveraging microwave assisted valorization technologies for enhanced conversion

Zeba Usmani, Minaxi Sharma, Manikant Tripathi, Abdul Sattar Nizami, Liang Gong, Quang D. Nguyen, Munagala S. Reddy, Vijay Kumar Thakur, Vijai Kumar Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


With raising concerns around the usage of fossil fuels and increasing waste there is an increased focus on finding alternate sources of energy to protect the environment as well as for sustainable development. Biomass waste has emerged as the new feedstock to produce renewable energy that can help in tackling climate changes and reduce dependence on traditional energy sources. Bioenergy production using wastes as feedstocks is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective process. However, deriving bioenergy from biomass waste streams requires pretreatment and/or innovative valorization strategies before being used as a feedstock in various conversion techniques such as thermo-chemical or biological processes. Most techniques require the application of heat to break down complex polymeric structures in the biowaste and make it more susceptible to hydrolysis. There is an increased focus on microwave heating as an alternative to conventional heating due to its various advantages such as speed, energy requirement and uniformity of heat dispersion. This review dives into a few of these aspects of microwaves and explores the application of microwaves as a standalone pretreatment technique as well as a co-pretreatment technique to enhance the performance of other thermo-chemical pretreatments. It also brings forward few of the challenges associated with the usage of microwaves and future research directions on tackling them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101161
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Early online date12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
VKG and VKT would like to acknowledge SRUC , UK for research facilities and the support under the respective ongoing projects.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Energy Institute


  • Biomass drying
  • Biowaste valorization
  • Deep eutectic solvents
  • Ionic liquids
  • Microwave irradiation
  • Microwave pyrolysis


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