Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jillian Goldfarb


This study investigates the utilization of the olive mill waste stream before and after the removal of entrained phenolic compounds. The kinetics of pyrolysis and oxidation were analyzed via thermogravimetric analysis. Particle size, heating rate, and extraction process of the phenolic compounds affected the apparent activation energies. The pits and pulp in the olive mill waste had apparent activation energies ranging for pyrolysis from 91-137 kJ/mol and 72-87 kJ/mol, respectively. The analysis of the oxidation of olive mill waste was divided into two distinct zones: the devolatilization and oxidation of volatiles zone and the char oxidation zone. The oxidation had very high apparent activation energies ranging from 221-338 kJ/mol and 191-238 kJ/mol for pits and pulp, respectively. The specific surface areas of the pit bio-chars (>420m²/g) were much higher than the pulp bio-chars (<15m²/g). The extraction of the phenolic compounds resulted in higher surface areas of the bio-chars.