State-of-the-art of the pyrolysis and co-pyrolysis of food waste: Progress and challenges

Guangcan Su, Hwai Chyuan Ong, I. M.Rizwanul Fattah, Yong Sik Ok, Jer Huan Jang, Chin Tsan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The continuous growth of population and the steady improvement of people's living standards have accelerated the generation of massive food waste. Untreated food waste has great potential to harm the environment and human health due to bad odor release, bacterial leaching, and virus transmission. However, the application of traditional disposal techniques like composting, landfilling, animal feeding, and anaerobic digestion are difficult to ease the environmental burdens because of problems such as large land occupation, virus transmission, hazardous gas emissions, and poor efficiency. Pyrolysis is a practical and promising route to reduce the environmental burden by converting food waste into bioenergy. This paper aims to analyze the characteristics of food waste, introduce the production of biofuels from conventional and advanced pyrolysis of food waste, and provide a basis for scientific disposal and sustainable management of food waste. The review shows that co-pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis significantly impact the pyrolysis process and product characteristics. The addition of tire waste promotes the synthesis of hydrocarbons and inhibits the formation of oxygenated compounds efficiently. The application of calcium oxide (CaO) exhibits good performance in the increment of bio-oil yield and hydrocarbon content. Based on this literature review, pyrolysis can be considered as the optimal technique for dealing with food waste and producing valuable products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151170
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 25

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Catalytic co-pyrolysis
  • Conventional pyrolysis
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Food waste
  • Waste-to-energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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