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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3566;

A Pilot Plant Study on the Autoclaving of Food Wastes for Resource Recovery and Reutilization

Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Department of Occupational Safety and Health, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Department of Environmental Engineering, National I-Lan University, Yi-Lan 260, Taiwan
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan
School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Department of International Business, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li 320, Taiwan
Environmental Analysis Laboratory, Environmental Protection Administration, Chung-Li 320, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 6 October 2018
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Autoclaving of food wastes (FW) for the resource recovery and reutilization was studied using the pilot plant scale. Experiments were conducted at various temperatures of 408, 428, and 438 K and times of 15 and 60 min. The in-filled steam to the autoclave was supplied by the incineration plant with a gauge pressure of 7 kg/cm2 and a temperature of 443 K or above. The results obtained from the experiments show that the less energy- and time-consuming autoclaving conditions (408 K and 15 min, denoted as Case A408-15) are effective. Comparisons of the properties and characteristics of autoclaved FW (FWA) of Case A408-15 with those of FW are made. The wet bulk volume and wet bulk density of FW A are dramatically reduced to 15.64% and increased to 313.37% relative to those of FW, respectively. This makes the subsequent processing and reuse for FWA more convenient than FW. The autoclaving results in an increase of carbon content and a decrease of nitrogen content, and thus an increase of the C/N ratio of FWA. The contents of sulfur, hemi-cellulose, and cellulose of FWA are also reduced. All these fluctuations are beneficial for making compost or other usages from FWA than FW. The autoclaved liquid product (LA) separated from FWA and liquid condensate (LC) from the released gas possess high COD and TOC. These two liquids can be mixed for use as liquid fertilizers with proper conditioning. Alternatively, further anaerobic digestion of the mixture of FWA, LA, and LC can offer enhanced biogas production for power generation. All these thus match the appeal of sustainable materials management and circular economy. The emitted gas from autoclaving contains no CO and some hydrocarbons. Suitable air pollution control is needed. The results and information obtained are useful for the proper recovery and reuse of abundant food wastes from domestic households and food industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: autoclaving; food wastes; resource recovery; reutilization autoclaving; food wastes; resource recovery; reutilization

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Chang, C.-C.; Chen, Y.-H.; Lin, Y.-S.; Hung, Z.-S.; Yuan, M.-H.; Chang, C.-Y.; Li, Y.-S.; Shie, J.-L.; Chen, Y.-H.; Wang, Y.-C.; Ko, C.-H.; Lin, F.-C.; Ho, C.; Liu, B.-L.; Liu, K.-W.; Wang, S.-G. A Pilot Plant Study on the Autoclaving of Food Wastes for Resource Recovery and Reutilization. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3566.

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