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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Real-Scale Integral Valorization of Waste Orange Peel via Hydrodynamic Cavitation

1
Institute for Bioeconomy, National Research Council, 10 Via Madonna del Piano, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
2
Centro de Química-Física Molecular and IN-Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisboa, Complexo I, Avenida Rovisco Pais 1, 1649-004 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
4
Renovo Biochemicals srl, 1 Via P. Verri, I-46100 Mantova (MN), Italy
5
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment, and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Viale delle Idee 30, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(9), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7090581
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 29 August 2019 / Published: 2 September 2019
Waste orange peel represents a heavy burden for the orange juice industry, estimated in several million tons per year worldwide; nevertheless, this by-product is endowed with valuable bioactive compounds, such as pectin, polyphenols, and terpenes. The potential value of the waste orange peel has stimulated the search for extraction processes, alternative or complementary to landfilling or to the integral energy conversion. This study introduces controlled hydrodynamic cavitation as a new route to the integral valorization of this by-product, based on simple equipment, speed, effectiveness and efficiency, scalability, and compliance with green extraction principles. Waste orange peel, in batches of several kg, was processed in more than 100 L of water, without any other raw materials, in a device comprising a Venturi-shaped cavitation reactor. The extractions of pectin (with a remarkably low degree of esterification), polyphenols (flavanones and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives), and terpenes (mainly d-limonene) were effective and efficient (high yields within a few min of process time). The biomethane generation potential of the process residues was determined. The achieved results proved the viability of the proposed route to the integral valorization of waste orange peel, though wide margins exist for further improvements. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomethane; d-limonene; flavanones; food waste; green extraction; hydrodynamic cavitation; orange waste; pectin; polyphenols biomethane; d-limonene; flavanones; food waste; green extraction; hydrodynamic cavitation; orange waste; pectin; polyphenols
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MDPI and ACS Style

Meneguzzo, F.; Brunetti, C.; Fidalgo, A.; Ciriminna, R.; Delisi, R.; Albanese, L.; Zabini, F.; Gori, A.; dos Santos Nascimento, L.B.; De Carlo, A.; Ferrini, F.; Ilharco, L.M.; Pagliaro, M. Real-Scale Integral Valorization of Waste Orange Peel via Hydrodynamic Cavitation. Processes 2019, 7, 581.

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