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Article

Potential for Farmers’ Cooperatives to Convert Coffee Husks into Biochar and Promote the Bioeconomy in the North Ecuadorian Amazon

1
Integrative Research Institute for Transformation of Human-Environment Systems (IRITHEsys), Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
2
Department of Environment and Planning, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA), Eloy Alfaro y Amazonas, 170518 Quito, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María Atienza-Martínez
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114747
Received: 6 January 2021 / Revised: 12 May 2021 / Accepted: 14 May 2021 / Published: 21 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achievements and Prospects of Biomass Pyrolysis)
Improving the livelihoods of communities living in fragile ecosystems, such as tropical forests, is among the main strategies to promote their conservation and preserve wildlife. In the Ecuadorian Amazon, farmers’ cooperatives are recognized as an important mechanism to improve the socioeconomic conditions of local communities. This study analyzes the integration of pyrolysis processes to convert agricultural waste into biochar as a way to implement the bioeconomy in these organizations. We found that post-harvesting processes in the studied farmers’ cooperatives are similar, and coffee husks are a potential feedstock to produce biochar. Although the environmental policies in Ecuador consider the valorization of agricultural waste, we did not find any specific standard to regulate the operation of pyrolysis facilities. Nonetheless, conversion of agricultural waste into biochar can contribute to (i) replacement of subsidized fossil fuels used in drying processes, (ii) prevention of environmental pollution caused by accumulation of waste, (iii) emergence of new income sources linked with the provision of carbon sequestration services, and (iv) the long-term maintenance of soil fertility. Currently, demonstration projects are needed to stimulate collaboration among farmers’ cooperatives, academia, the government, international cooperation agencies, and existing forest conservation initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural waste; biochar; pyrolysis kilns; farmers’ cooperatives; Amazon forests; coffee husks; soil; carbon sequestration agricultural waste; biochar; pyrolysis kilns; farmers’ cooperatives; Amazon forests; coffee husks; soil; carbon sequestration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heredia Salgado, M.A.; Säumel, I.; Cianferoni, A.; Tarelho, L.A.C. Potential for Farmers’ Cooperatives to Convert Coffee Husks into Biochar and Promote the Bioeconomy in the North Ecuadorian Amazon. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4747. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114747

AMA Style

Heredia Salgado MA, Säumel I, Cianferoni A, Tarelho LAC. Potential for Farmers’ Cooperatives to Convert Coffee Husks into Biochar and Promote the Bioeconomy in the North Ecuadorian Amazon. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):4747. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114747

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heredia Salgado, Mario A., Ina Säumel, Andrea Cianferoni, and Luís A.C. Tarelho. 2021. "Potential for Farmers’ Cooperatives to Convert Coffee Husks into Biochar and Promote the Bioeconomy in the North Ecuadorian Amazon" Applied Sciences 11, no. 11: 4747. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114747

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