Skip to main content

Catalytic Treatment of Opium Alkaloid Wastewater via Hydrothermal Gasification

  • 599 Accesses

Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The wastewater from an opium processing plant should meet the standards as specified in the ‘Water Pollution Control Regulation (WPCR), 2004’ before being discharged safely into the receiving medium. Treatment of opium alkaloid wastewater is not sufficient using the existing combined methods of aerobic/anaerobic and chemical treatment. Hydrothermal gasification (HTG) is proposed as an alternative treatment in this study. The other aim of this study is to show the ability to manufacture CH4 and H2 as renewable energy sources and to determine to what extent the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) is. Studies were carried out in batch autoclave reactor systems without catalyst, with original red mud (RM), activated RM, and nickel-impregnated (10, 20, and 30%) forms. Reduction with NaBH4 was done to the nickel-impregnated forms of RM to increase the catalytic activity. Yields of CH4 and H2 increased from 16.8 to 28.6 mol CH4/kg C in wastewater and from 20.3 to 33.3 mol H2/kg C in wastewater with 20% impregnated nickel and reduced red mud as the highest at 500 °C. The COD of the wastewater was lowered by 81–85% approximately while the TOC content decreased by 85–90%.


  • Biomass
  • Wastewater
  • Supercritical
  • Gasification
  • Hydrogen

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20637-6_20
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   149.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-20637-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


C i :

Concentration of component ‘i’ in the gas product (vol%)


Hydrothermal gasification

n i :

Number of carbon atoms of component ‘i’ in the gas product

m :

Weight of biomass in feed (g)

M :

Molar mass of carbon (g mol−1)

P :

Pressure (Pa)

R :

Universal gas constant 8.3143 J mol−1 K−1

T :

Temperature (K)

V gas :

Volume of gas product under ambient conditions (L)

TOC aq :

Total organic carbon content of the aqueous product (g L−1)

TOC ww :

Total organic carbon content of raw alkaloid wastewater (g L−1)

COD ww :

Chemical oxygen demand raw alkaloid wastewater (g L−1)

TOC aq :

Chemical oxygen demand of the aqueous product (g L−1)


  1. Aydin AF, Ersahin ME, Dereli RK, Sarikaya HZ, Ozturk I (2010) Long-term anaerobic treatability studies on opium alkaloids industry effluents. J Environ Sci Health Part A, Toxic/Hazard Subst Environ Eng 45(2):192–200. Available from

  2. Aytimur G, Atalay S (2004) Treatment of an alkaloid industry wastewater by biological oxidation and/or chemical oxidation. Energy Sources 26(7):661–670

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ministry of Environment and Forestry (2004) Water Pollution Control Regulation. Official Newspaper

    Google Scholar 

  4. Guo X, Wang S, Wang K, Liu Q, Luo Z (2010) Influence of extractives on mechanism of biomass pyrolysis. J Fuel Chem Technol 38(1):42–46. Available from

  5. Kruse A, Ebert KH (1996) Chemical reactions in supercritical water 1. Pyrolysis 83(I):80–83

    Google Scholar 

  6. Fritsch C, Staebler A, Happel A, Márquez MAC, Aguiló-Aguayo I, Abadias M et al (2017) Processing, valorization and application of bio-waste derived compounds from potato, tomato, olive and cereals: a review. Sustainability (Switzerland) 9(8):1–46

    Google Scholar 

  7. Kruse A (2009) Hydrothermal biomass gasification. J Supercrit Fluids 47:391–399

    Google Scholar 

  8. Jeong H, Park SY, Ryu GH, Choi JH, Kim JH, Choi WS et al (2018) Catalytic conversion of hemicellulosic sugars derived from biomass to levulinic acid. Catal Commun 117:19–25

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Bergman PCA, Kiel JHA (2005) Torrefaction for biomass upgrading. In: 14th European biomass conference & exhibition, Paris, France, p 9. Available from

  10. Modell M, Reid RC (1978) SIA. Gasification process, US Patent 4:113,446

    Google Scholar 

  11. Breinl J (2015) Hydrothermal gasification of HTL wastewater. By Supervised by 2015

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kazemi N, Tavakoli O, Seif S, Nahangi M (2015) High-strength distillery wastewater treatment using catalytic sub- and supercritical water. J Supercrit Fluids 97:74–80. Available from

  13. Kıpçak E, Akgün M (2017) Biofuel production from olive mill wastewater through its Ni/Al2O3 and Ru/Al2O3 catalyzed supercritical water gasification. Renew Energy 1–10. Available from

  14. Lee I (2010) Hydrogen production by supercritical water gasification of wastewater from food waste treatment processes. In: 18th world hydrogen energy conference, vol 78, pp 425–429

    Google Scholar 

  15. Sö OÖ, Akgün M (2011) Hydrothermal gasification of olive mill wastewater as a biomass source in supercritical water. J Supercrit Fluids 57:50–57

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  16. Dinjus E, Kruse A (2004) Hot compressed water—a suitable and sustainable solvent and reaction medium? J Phys Condens Matter Vol. 16:S1161–S1169

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. He C, Chen C-L, Giannis A, Yang Y, Wang J-Y (2014) Hydrothermal gasification of sewage sludge and model compounds for renewable hydrogen production: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 39:1127–1142. Available from

  18. García Jarana MB, Sánchez-Oneto J, Portela JR, Nebot Sanz E, Martínez de la Ossa EJ 2008 Supercritical water gasification of industrial organic wastes. J Supercrit Fluids 46:329–334

    Google Scholar 

  19. Iwamura H, Sato T, Okada M, Sue K, Hiaki T (2016) Organic reactions in sub- and supercritical water in the absence of any added catalyst 1–9

    Google Scholar 

  20. Bural CB (2008) Aerobic biological treatment of opium alkaloid wastewater—effect of gamma radiation and Fenton’s oxidation as pretreatment

    Google Scholar 

  21. Kunukcu YK, Wiesmann U (2004) Activated sludge treatment and anaerobic digestion of opium alkaloid factory. World Water Congress 2004

    Google Scholar 

  22. Kaçar Y, Alpay E, Ceylan VK (2003) Pretreatment of Afyon alcaloide factory’s wastewater by wet air oxidation (WAO). Water Res 37(5):1170–1176

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  23. Aydın AF Sarikaya HZ (2002) Biyolojik Proseslerle Arıtılmış Afyon Alkaloidleri Endüstrisi Atıksularının Fenton Oksidasyonu ile İleri Arıtımı. İTÜ Dergisi/d Mühendislik 1(1)

    Google Scholar 

  24. Koyuncu I (2003) An advanced treatment of high-strength opium alkaloid processing industry wastewaters with membrane technology: pretreatment, fouling and retention characteristics of membranes. Desalination 155(3):265–275

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  25. Garg D, Glvens EN (1985) Coal liquefaction catalysis by industrial metallic wastes. Ind Eng Chem Process Des Dev 24(1):66–72

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  26. Yanık J, Ebale S, Kruse A, Saglam M, Yu M (2008) Biomass gasification in supercritical water: II. Effect of catalyst. Int J Hydrog Energy 33:4520–4526

    Google Scholar 

  27. De Blasio C, Lucca G, Özdenkci K, Mulas M, Lundqvist K, Koskinen J et al (2016) A study on supercritical water gasification of black liquor conducted in stainless steel and nickel-chromium-molybdenum reactors. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 91(10):2664–2678

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  28. Azadi P, Khan S, Strobel F, Azadi F, Farnood R (2012) Applied catalysis B: environmental hydrogen production from cellulose, lignin, bark and model carbohydrates in supercritical water using nickel and ruthenium catalysts. Appl Catal B, Environ 117–118:330–338. Available from

  29. Buffoni IN, Pompeo F, Santori GF, Nichio NN (2009) Nickel catalysts applied in steam reforming of glycerol for hydrogen production. Catal Commun 10(13):1656–1660

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  30. Minowa T, Zhen F, Ogi T (1998) Cellulose decomposition in hot-compressed water with alkali or nickel catalyst. J Supercrit Fluids 13:253–259

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  31. Nath H, Sahoo A (2014) A study on the characterization of red mud. Int J Appl Bio-eng 8(1):1–4. Available from

Download references


We gratefully appreciate the financial support of Ege University-Aliye Üster Vakfı and Ege University-EBILTEM (Project No’s: 15 MÜH 055 and 16 MÜH 133). We also give thanks to Mr. G. Serin for his support in the pre-treatment step of the biomasses and for the help during the experimental studies and analysis.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nihal Ü. Cengiz .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Cengiz, N.Ü., Sağlam, M., Yüksel, M., Ballice, L. (2020). Catalytic Treatment of Opium Alkaloid Wastewater via Hydrothermal Gasification. In: Dincer, I., Colpan, C., Ezan, M. (eds) Environmentally-Benign Energy Solutions. Green Energy and Technology. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-20636-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-20637-6

  • eBook Packages: EnergyEnergy (R0)