Using evolutionary machine learning to characterize and optimize co-pyrolysis of biomass feedstocks and polymeric wastes

Hossein Shahbeik, Alireza Shafizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Nadian, Dorsa Jeddi, Seyedali Mirjalili, Yadong Yang, Su Shiung Lam, Junting Pan, Meisam Tabatabaei, Mortaza Aghbashlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Co-pyrolysis of biomass feedstocks with polymeric wastes is a promising strategy for improving the quantity and quality parameters of the resulting liquid fuel. Numerous experimental measurements are typically conducted to find the optimal operating conditions. However, performing co-pyrolysis experiments is highly challenging due to the need for costly and lengthy procedures. Machine learning (ML) provides capabilities to cope with such issues by leveraging on existing data. This work aims to introduce an evolutionary ML approach to quantify the (by)products of the biomass-polymer co-pyrolysis process. Multi-objective optimization is done to maximize pyrolysis oil production and minimize char/syngas formation simultaneously. A comprehensive dataset covering various biomass-polymer mixtures under a broad range of process conditions is compiled from the qualified literature. The database was subjected to statistical analysis and mechanistic discussion. The input features are constructed using an innovative approach to reflect the physics of the process. The constructed features are subjected to principal component analysis to reduce their dimensionality. The obtained scores are introduced into six ML models. Gaussian process regression model tuned by particle swarm optimization algorithm presents better prediction performance (R2 > 0.9, MAE < 0.03, and RMSE < 0.06) than other developed models. The multi-objective particle swarm optimization algorithm successfully finds optimal independent parameters. Under optimal conditions, pyrolysis oil, char, and syngas yields are in the range of 70.9–75.3%, 7.23–21.5%, and 5.68–18.6%, respectively. The results demonstrate how ML can be employed to obviate the need for chemical-demanding, cost-intensive, and time-consuming co-pyrolysis experimental measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135881
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2023


  • Biomass feedstocks
  • Co-pyrolysis
  • Gaussian process regression
  • Machine learning
  • Polymeric wastes
  • Pyrolysis oil


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