Recycling of Tea Waste: Simple and Effective Separation of Caffeine and Catechins by Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE)

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SERDAR G., Demir E., Sökmen M.

International Journal of Secondary Metabolite, vol.4, no.2, pp.78-89, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Secondary Metabolite
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.78-89
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study was designed to develop a cost effective green extraction method to separate valuable chemicals from black tea waste (BTW) and tea dust called “caffeine dust” (CD). These materials are totally unwanted residue and treated as rubbish. Two extraction methods were used for extraction of waste materials obtained in three collection periods. In conventional extraction method, material was subjected to hot water extraction at 80 oC for 40 minutes. In microwave assisted extraction (MAE) method, different eco-friendly aqueous solvents (water, citric acid-water or ethanol-water) were used under a controlled 600 W microwave power at 80 oC for only 4 minutes treatment in a close microwave system. MAE and conventional method gave similar extract yields for both waste materials but MAE was more successful and economical completing the extraction in shorter time.  Using citric acid-water solvent in MAE significantly increased the extraction of individual catechins such as epicatechin (EC) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This study showed that tea waste could be utilized for production of valuable chemicals using nontoxic solvents at extremely short extraction periods.