Can Date Pits Replace Crude Oil?

Al Mughairi, Khalid (2022) Can Date Pits Replace Crude Oil? PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Date pits are an underutilised waste biomaterial, produced in large quantities in the Sultanate of Oman along with bulk date waste biomass and produce. As with most biomass, they have the potential to increase their value through traditional and novel methods and techniques. By breaking down the durable date pits into softer yields, they can open pathways for renewable biomass processing in the Sultanate and the region.

By reviewing the research performed on date pits; biomass as a whole and microwave interactions with date pits/biomass, a few points can be added to these specific areas by the research presented in this thesis. Especially with regards to bio-oil production via date pit valorisation and with regards to macroscopic microwave effects on biomass.

This thesis uses microwave methods to valorise date pits in a manner that would increase their calorific output as a potential solid fuel, soften them for mechanical and future processing and extract by-products that can be used as fuels or sources for platform chemicals. Using TGA, GC/MS and ABSL analytical methods, the date pit biomass potential has been observed and reported to compare the raw material and extracts appropriately based on their proximate data, higher heating values (as fuels) and degradation outputs.

Hydrothermal microwave pyrolysis managed to soften the date pits and liberate some of the lignin chains as a solid residue/powder; albeit in an insufficient and non-profitable quantity (0.6% of the date pits mass collected as lignin residue). The dry pyrolysis method quickly softened the date pits. It produced reasonable amounts of fermentable bio-oils while providing insight into microwave interactions with dry biomass and the mechanisms that induce fast pyrolysis and make bio-oil. The sequence of events leading up to bio-oil release from date pits and softening them by breaking down the hemicellulose chains is a critical contribution to future studies on renewable microwave practices.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Binner, Eleanor
Robinson, John
Keywords: waste date pits, bio-oil, biomaterials, Oman
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Item ID: 71821
Depositing User: Al Mughairi, Khalid
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2023 15:15
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 15:15

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