Nanobiotechnology for the production of biofuels from spent tea

  • T Mahmood
  • ST Hussain
Keywords: Black tea, biodiesel, bioethanol, Co nano particles, hydrocarbon gases, catalytic gasification


Bioenergy is the only alternative and cheap source of energy which can be made easily available to the world. The present experiment included three steps for the conversion of spent tea (Camellia sinensis) into biofuels. In the first step, spent tea was gasified using Co nano catalyst at 300°C and atmospheric pressure. Catalytic gasification of spent tea yielded 60% liquid extract, 28% fuel gases and 12% charcoal. Gaseous products contain 53.03% ethene, 37.18% methanol and 4.59% methane. In the second step of the experiment, liquid extract of spent tea obtained from gasification, on transesterification gave 40.79% ethyl ester (biodiesel). In the third step, Aspergillus niger’s growth on spent tea produced 57.49% bioethanol. This study reports an interesting finding that spent tea (solid waste) could be used not only for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol but also hydrocarbon fuel gases. The world today is consuming several million tons of tea yearly. The present technology could be utilized to produce alternate energy.

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eISSN: 1684-5315