Optimizing yield and quality of bio-oil: A comparative study of Acacia tortilis and Pine Dust

Gratitude Charis, Gwiranai Danha, Edison Muzenda

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We collected pine dust and Acacia tortilis samples fromZimbabwe and Botswana, respectively. We then pyrolyzed them in a bench-scale plant under varying conditions. This investigation aimed to determine an optimum temperature that will give result to maximum yield and quality of the bio-oil fraction. Our experimental results show that we obtain the maximum yield of the oil fraction at a pyrolysis temperature of 550°C for the acacia and at 500°C for the pine dust. Our results also show that we obtain an oil fraction with a heating value (HHV) of 36.807 MJ/kg using acacia as the feed material subject to a primary condenser temperature of 140°C. Under the same pyrolysis temperature, we obtain an HHV value of 15.78 MJ/kg using pine dust as the raw material at a primary condenser temperature of 110°C. The bio-oil fraction we obtain from Acacia tortilis at these condensation temperatures has an average pH value of 3.42 compared to that of 2.50 from pine dust. The specific gravity of the oil from Acacia tortilis is 1.09 compared to that of 1.00 from pine dust. We elucidated that pine dust has a higher bio-oil yield of 46.1% compared to 41.9% obtained for acacia. Although the heavy oils at condenser temperatures above 100°C had good HHVs, the yields were low, ranging from 2.8% to 4.9% for acacia and 0.2% to 12.7% for pine dust. Our future work will entail efforts to improve the yield of the heavy oil fraction and scale up our results for trials on plant scale capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number551
Number of pages19
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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