New Circular Frontiers in Sustainable Processes for Waste Biomass Valorisation

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 5702

Special Issue Editors

Department of Chemistry, University of Turin, I-10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: biomass valorisation; process intensification; enabling technologies; biorefineries
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Drug Science and Technology, University of Turin, I-10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: biomass conversion; green chemistry; enabling technologies; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is devoted to new processes for the valorisation of biomass in the frame of a circular economy. Lignocellulosic waste material, such as agri-food and forestry residues, serves as a considerable renewable feedstock that could be used to replace oil refineries with biorefineries.

Indeed, all biomass components can be converted into platform chemicals and bioactive compounds, bioenergy, and active materials. Enabling technologies for process intensification (microwave, ultrasound mechanochemical activation, pulsed electric fields, subcritical conditions, etc.) can boost sustainability by reducing process times and energy consumption, leading to improvements in product quality and yields. Moreover, the use of alternative solvents can circumvent environmental issues. Insights into catalytic routes for biomass conversion into platform chemicals are also appreciated in this Special Issue. Waste biomass may well be the benchmark feedstock for the development of a circular bioeconomic approach.

In this Special Issue, we invite submissions exploring cutting-edge research and recent advances in the fields of sustainable processes for waste biomass valorisation. Both research papers and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Silvia Tabasso
Dr. Emanuela Calcio Gaudino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • platform chemicals from biomass
  • lignocellulosic biomass
  • agri-food residues
  • enabling technologies
  • process intensification
  • green solvents
  • bioactive compounds
  • active materials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1167 KiB  
Article
An Innovative, Green Cascade Protocol for Grape Stalk Valorization with Process Intensification Technologies
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(15), 7417; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12157417 - 23 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
Valorization of agri-food residues to produce bio-based platform chemicals will enhance the transition to the bio-economy era. To this end, a sustainable process has been developed for the overall valorization of grape stalks (GS) according to a circular approach, starting from the [...] Read more.
Valorization of agri-food residues to produce bio-based platform chemicals will enhance the transition to the bio-economy era. To this end, a sustainable process has been developed for the overall valorization of grape stalks (GS) according to a circular approach, starting from the lignin fraction to further deal with the cellulose-rich residue. This non-conventional protocol fully adheres to green chemistry principles, exploiting the so-called enabling technologies—mainly ultrasound and microwaves—for energy-saving innovative processes. Firstly, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE, 40 kHz, 200 W) demonstrated to be an excellent technique for GS delignification combined with natural deep eutectic solvents (NaDESs). Delignification enables isolation of the pertinent lignin framework and the potential to obtain a polyphenol-rich liquid fraction, focusing on the valorization of GS as source of bioactive compounds (BACs). Among the NaDESs employed, the combination of choline chloride (ChCl) and levulinic acid (LevA) (ChLevA) presented noteworthy results, enabling a delignification higher than 70%. LevA is one of the top-value biobased platform chemicals. In this work, a flash microwave (MW)-assisted process was subsequently applied to the cellulose-rich fraction remained after delignification, yielding 85% LevA. The regeneration of this starting compound to produce ChLevA can lead to a further biomass delignification cycle, thus developing a new cascade protocol for a full valorization of GS. Full article
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17 pages, 2506 KiB  
Article
Biogas Production Enhancement through Chicken Manure Co-Digestion with Pig Fat
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 4652; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12094652 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3788
Abstract
Chicken manure and pig fat are found abundantly around the globe, and there is a challenge to get rid of them. This waste has considerable energy potential to be recovered into fuel, but extracting this energy from some by-products, especially fat, isn’t an [...] Read more.
Chicken manure and pig fat are found abundantly around the globe, and there is a challenge to get rid of them. This waste has considerable energy potential to be recovered into fuel, but extracting this energy from some by-products, especially fat, isn’t an easy task. When anaerobic digestion technology stepped to the level of anaerobic co-digestion, the utilisation of hardly degradable waste became feasible. Our research was conducted on anaerobic co-digestion of chicken manure as the primary substrate with pig fat as a fat reach supplement in a semi-continuous mode at different organic load rates. The influence of fat waste on the process of biogas production from chicken manure and the composition of the obtained products was determined using an organic load rate of 3.0–4.5 kg VS·(m3·day)−1. A sturdy and continuously growing biogas production was observed at all organic load rates, implying the synergetic effect on chicken manure and pig fat co-digestion. The highest specific methane yield, 441.3 ± 7.6 L·kg VS−1, was observed at an organic load rate of 4.5 kg VS·(m3·day)−1. The research results showed that co-digestion of chicken manure with pig fat is an appropriate measure for fat utilisation and contributes to the increase in biogas yield, methane concentration, and overall methane yield at investigated organic load rates. Full article
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