Optimizing slow pyrolysis of banana peels wastes using response surface methodology

Godfrey Omulo, Noble Banadda, Isa Kabenge, Jeffrey Seay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Renewable energy from biomass and biodegradable wastes can significantly supplement the global energy demand if properly harnessed. Pyrolysis is the most profound modern technique that has proved effective and efficient in the energy conversion of biomass to yield various products like bio-oil, biochar, and syngas. This study focuses on optimization of slow pyrolysis of banana peels waste to yield banana peels vinegar, tar and biochar as bio-infrastructure products. Response surface methodology using central composite design was used to determine the optimum conditions for the banana wastes using a batch reactor pyrolysis system. Three factors namely heating temperature (350-550oC), sample mass (200-800 g) and residence time (45-90 min) were varied with a total of 20 individual experiments. The optimal conditions for wood vinegar yield (48.01%) were 362.6oC, 989.9 g and 104.2 min for peels and biochar yield (30.10%) were 585.9oC, 989.9 g and 104.2 min. The slow pyrolysis showed significant energy conversion efficiencies of about 90% at p-value ≤ 0.05. These research findings are of primary importance to Uganda considering the abundant banana wastes amounting to 17.5 million tonnes generated annually, thus using them as pyrolysis feedstock can boost the country’s energy status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Korean Society of Environmental Engineers.


  • Biochar
  • Optimization
  • Renewable energy
  • Response surface methodology
  • Wood vinegar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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