Valorization of Eggshell Waste into Supported Copper Catalysts for Partial Oxidation of Methane

  • Gourishankar Karoshi
  • Praveen KolarEmail author
  • Sanjay Bikram Shah
  • Gary Gilleskie
Research paper


Agricultural wastes are equipped with unique physicochemical traits that may be harnessed to obtain valuable end products. Therefore, the present research focused on using waste eggshells as precursors for the synthesis of catalysts for partial oxidation of methane. Catalysts were synthesized via impregnation of copper on calcined eggshell surfaces. The catalysts were tested for selective oxidation of methane at 650° C and atmospheric pressure. Eggshells loaded with 2% copper activated partial oxidation pathway to enhance yield for syngas, while 5% and 10% loading led to C2–C6 hydrocarbons as a result of oxidative coupling of methane. Oxygen concentration in the feed along with feed flow rate and temperature influenced both fractional conversion and product selectivities. Limited-oxygen supply and adequate flow rate of 0.8 L min−1 at 650° C provided better conversion with 10% Cu-loaded catalyst. While the fresh catalyst exhibited a uniform distribution of copper and a smooth catalyst surface, little surface deformation was observed in the spent catalyst. Prolonged catalytic activity was also investigated via catalyst reactivation. Our results suggest that waste eggshells may be used as catalyst supports for metals to be used in oxidation reactions.

Graphic Abstract

Article highlights

  • Seven billion kilograms of chicken eggshells are disposed of every year.

  • Eggshell-supported copper catalysts for partial oxidation of methane for the first time.

  • CuO along with CaO activates methane and converts methane into value-added chemicals including C2–C6 hydrocarbons.

  • Excellent recyclabilities were obtained.

  • Value addition of eggshells can provide additional revenue to poultry producers and minimize waste disposal problems.


Eggshell Copper Catalyst Methane Partial oxidation 


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological and Agricultural EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education CenterNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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