Special Issue "Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Green Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jorge A. Ferreira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business (including The Swedish School of Textiles), Department of Resource Recovery and Building Technology, University of Borås, S-501 90 Borås, Sweden
Interests: biochemicals; biofuels; biopolymers; close-loop processes; feed and food ingredients; process optimization; waste management
Prof. Dr. Tobias Richards
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business (including The Swedish School of Textiles), Department of Resource Recovery and Building Technology, University of Borås, S-501 90 Borås, Sweden
Interests: thermal treatment; gasification; pyrolysis; combustion; system analysis; energy efficiency; exergy efficiency; reaction kinetics; reactions mechanisms; waste treatment; sustainable development; waste refinery
Prof. Dr. Timo Kikas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Interests: bioeconomy; biofuels; biomass conversion; biomethane; bioethanol; lingnocellulosic biomass; pretreatment; renewable transport fuels
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mario Marchetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Drøbakveien 31, 1430 Ås, Norway
Interests: waste valorization; biofuels; biomass transformation; biochemicals; techno-economic assessments; reactor engineering; catalysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Various research strategies have been investigated (a few of which have been implemented) for the conversion of municipal and industrial low-value substrates (sidestreams, residuals, and wastes) into a range of value-added products. This has been in line with global awareness of the need for a paradigm shift from an unbalanced linear economy to a circular bioeconomy to attain green growth. Its success is dependent on the increased rate at which the nutrients present in low-value substrates are recovered in the form of, for example, biofuels, biochemicals, and feed and food that society needs. This Special Issue aims to gather recent cutting-edge research approaches towards the valorization of low-value substrates, including:

  • Biological (aerobic and anaerobic methods) and energy-recovery (e.g., gasification, pyrolysis) strategies;
  • Strategy integration towards a wide range of value-added products, energy efficiency, etc.;
  • Techno-economic analysis and life-cycle assessment of potential valorization processes.
Dr. Jorge A. Ferreira
Prof. Dr. Tobias Richards
Prof. Dr. Timo Kikas
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mario Marchetti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biological strategies
  • energy recovery strategies
  • energy efficiency
  • green growth
  • LCA
  • strategy integration
  • techno-economic analysis
  • value-added products
  • waste

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
Utilization of Barley Straw as Feedstock for the Production of Different Energy Vectors
Processes 2021, 9(4), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040726 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
During the bioethanol production process, vast amounts of residues are generated as process waste. To extract more value from lignocellulosic biomass and improve process economics, these residues should be used as feedstock in additional processes for the production of energy or fuels. In [...] Read more.
During the bioethanol production process, vast amounts of residues are generated as process waste. To extract more value from lignocellulosic biomass and improve process economics, these residues should be used as feedstock in additional processes for the production of energy or fuels. In this paper, barley straw was used for bioethanol production and the residues were valorized using anaerobic digestion (AD) or used for the production of heat and power by combustion. A traditional three-step bioethanol production process was used, and the biomass residues obtained from different stages of the process were analyzed. Finally, mass and energy balances were calculated to quantify material flow and assess the different technological routes for biomass utilization. Up to 90 kg of ethanol could be produced from 1 t of biomass and additional biogas and energy generated from processing residues can increase the energy yield to over 220%. The results show that in terms of energy output, combustion was the preferable route for processing biomass residues. However, the production of biogas is also an attractive solution to increase revenue in the bioethanol production process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
Hydroponic Farm Wastewater Treatment Using an Indigenous Consortium
Processes 2021, 9(3), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9030519 - 13 Mar 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Hydroponic farms produce wastewater that need to be treated before being released into the environment. A three-step screening process (microplate, batch, and semi-continuous flasks experiments) initially designed to select an efficient microalgae strain allowed the isolation of a consortium that naturally developed in [...] Read more.
Hydroponic farms produce wastewater that need to be treated before being released into the environment. A three-step screening process (microplate, batch, and semi-continuous flasks experiments) initially designed to select an efficient microalgae strain allowed the isolation of a consortium that naturally developed in the hydroponic farm wastewater. During the non-optimized semi-continuous experiments, the best performing microalgae strain, Scenedesmus obliquus UTEX393 and the wastewater-born consortium cultures achieved good average linear growth rate (0.186 and 0.198/d, respectively) and high average nitrogen removal rates (23.5 mgN/L/d and 21.9 mgN/L/d, respectively). Phosphorus removal was very high probably due to precipitation. An integrated process was designed to treat the hydroponic farm wastewater using the wastewater-born consortium. Despite relatively low coagulation efficiencies in the preliminary tests, when integrated in a continuous process, chitosan was efficient to harvest the naturally wastewater-born consortium. The process was also efficient for removing nitrate and phosphate in less than seven days (average removal of 98.2 and 87.1% for nitrate and phosphate, respectively). These very promising results will help to define a pre-industrial pilot process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
The Effect of Deinking Process on Bioethanol Production from Waste Banknote Paper
Processes 2020, 8(12), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8121563 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to study the effect of reinking and pretreatment of waste banknote paper on its usability in the bioethanol production process. To this end, the tensile strength of worn banknote paper was first studied at different pH values. [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to study the effect of reinking and pretreatment of waste banknote paper on its usability in the bioethanol production process. To this end, the tensile strength of worn banknote paper was first studied at different pH values. The sample with the lowest tensile strength was considered for the next sections. In the deinking process, NaOH at different concentrations (1%, 2%, 3%, and 4%) and in combination with ultrasonic treatment was applied. After deinking the pulp, two acidic and alkaline chemical pretreatments with concentrations of 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% were used independently and in combination with ultrasonic. Enzymatic hydrolysis, following fermentation with Scheffersomyces stipitis, and crystallinity measurements were used to confirm the efficiency of the pretreatments. RSM Design Expert software was used to determine the optimal values by considering the three variables—enzyme loading, ultrasonic loading, and contact time for waste paper deinked (WPD) and waste paper blank (WPB) pulps. The results indicated that repulping was the most efficient at pH = 2. In deinking, the highest brightness was obtained using 3% NaOH in combination with ultrasonic. Between the acid and alkaline pretreatment, the acid treatment was more appropriate according to the resulting sugar concentration and weight loss. XRD tests confirmed that the lowest crystallinity index was obtained in the sample pretreated with 4% sulfuric acid in combination with ultrasonic. The highest sugar concentration in the enzymatic hydrolysis step was 92 g/L for WPD and 81 g/L for WPB. For the fermentation at 96 h, the highest ethanol concentration and process efficiency achieved were 38 g/L and 80.9% for WPD and 31 g/L and 75.04% for WPB, respectively. Our research shows that the deinking process can widen the utilization potential of waste banknote paper in biorefinery processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
Heavy Metal Sorption by Sludge-Derived Biochar with Focus on Pb2+ Sorption Capacity at μg/L Concentrations
Processes 2020, 8(12), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8121559 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Municipal wastewater management causes metal exposure to humans and the environment. Targeted metal removal is suggested to reduce metal loads during sludge reuse and release of effluent to receiving waters. Biochar is considered a low-cost sorbent with high sorption capacity for heavy metals. [...] Read more.
Municipal wastewater management causes metal exposure to humans and the environment. Targeted metal removal is suggested to reduce metal loads during sludge reuse and release of effluent to receiving waters. Biochar is considered a low-cost sorbent with high sorption capacity for heavy metals. In this study, heavy metal sorption to sludge-derived biochar (SDBC) was investigated through batch experiments and modeling and compared to that of wood-derived biochar (WDBC) and activated carbon (AC). The aim was to investigate the sorption efficiency at metal concentrations comparable to those in municipal wastewater (<1 mg/L), for which experimental data are lacking and isotherm models have not been verified in previous works. Pb2+ removal of up to 83% was demonstrated at concentrations comparable to those in municipal wastewater, at pH 2. SDBC showed superior Pb2+ sorption capacity (maximum ~2 mg/g at pH 2) compared to WDBC and AC (<0 and (3.5 ± 0.4) × 10−3 mg/g, respectively); however, at the lowest concentration investigated (0.005 mg/L), SDBC released Pb2+. The potential risk of release of other heavy metals (i.e., Ni, Cd, Cu, and Zn) needs to be further examined. The sorption capacity of SDBC over a metal concentration span of 0.005–150 mg Pb2+/L could be predicted with the Redlich–Peterson model. It was shown that experimental data at concentrations comparable to those in municipal wastewater are necessary to accurately model and predict the sorption capacity of SDBC at these concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
Biomass Pretreatment with the Szego Mill™ for Bioethanol and Biogas Production
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101327 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Results from an investigation of the mechanical size reduction with the Szego Mill™ as a pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass are presented. Pretreatment is a highly expensive and energy-consuming step in lignocellulosic biomass processing. Therefore, it is vital to study and optimize different [...] Read more.
Results from an investigation of the mechanical size reduction with the Szego Mill™ as a pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass are presented. Pretreatment is a highly expensive and energy-consuming step in lignocellulosic biomass processing. Therefore, it is vital to study and optimize different pretreatment methods to find a most efficient production process. The biomass was milled with the Szego Mill™ using three different approaches: dry milling, wet milling and for the first time nitrogen assisted wet milling was tested. Bioethanol and biogas production were studied, but also fibre analysis and SEM (scanning electron microscope) analysis were carried out to characterize the effect of different milling approaches. In addition, two different process flows were used to evaluate the efficiency of downstream processing steps. The results show that pretreatment of barely straw with the Szego Mill™ enabled obtaining glucose concentrations of up to 7 g L−1 in the hydrolysis mixture, which yields at hydrolysis efficiency of 18%. The final ethanol concentrations from 3.4 to 6.7 g L−1 were obtained. The lowest glucose and ethanol concentrations were measured when the biomass was dry milled, the highest when nitrogen assisted wet milling was used. Milling also resulted in an 6–11% of increase in methane production rate during anaerobic digestion of straw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
New Insights on Protein Recovery from Olive Oil Mill Wastewater through Bioconversion with Edible Filamentous Fungi
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101210 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Olive oil mills represent an important sector in the Mediterranean Sea Basin but also an environmental hazard due to untreated wastewater. Recovery of nutrients from olive oil mill wastewater (OMWW) as protein-rich microbial biomass can produce novel feed and reduce its chemical oxygen [...] Read more.
Olive oil mills represent an important sector in the Mediterranean Sea Basin but also an environmental hazard due to untreated wastewater. Recovery of nutrients from olive oil mill wastewater (OMWW) as protein-rich microbial biomass can produce novel feed and reduce its chemical oxygen demand; however, low-protein containing products have been reported. New strategies leading to higher protein-containing fungal biomass could renew the research interest on bioconversion for pollution mitigation of OMWW. In this work, through cultivation of edible filamentous fungi (Aspergillus oryzae, Neurospora intermedia, and Rhizopus delemar), a link between the protein content in the originated fungal biomass, and the addition of nitrogen and medium dilution was established. Addition of nitrogen in the form of NaNO3 reduced the cultivation time from 96 h to 48 h while achieving a similar biomass mass concentration of 8.43 g/L and increased biomass protein content, from w = 15.9% to w = 29.5%. Nitrogen addition and dilution of OMWW, and consequent reduction of suspended solids, led to an increase in the protein content to up to w = 44.9%. To the best of our knowledge, the protein contents achieved are the highest reported to date and can open new research avenues towards bioconversion of OMWW using edible filamentous fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
Life-Cycle Assessment of Dairy Products—Case Study of Regional Cheese Produced in Portugal
Processes 2020, 8(9), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091182 - 18 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Nowadays, there is a growing promotion to label products ecologically in European markets. Knowing that daily products have relevant environmental impact associated with their production, it is of utmost importance to analyse all the related production processes for a better understanding of each [...] Read more.
Nowadays, there is a growing promotion to label products ecologically in European markets. Knowing that daily products have relevant environmental impact associated with their production, it is of utmost importance to analyse all the related production processes for a better understanding of each process impact. The present study analysed the potential environmental impacts of a Portuguese regional product, the Beira Baixa cheese, coming from the largest national sheep milk region. So, a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is used from -cradle-to -gate, including the supplying of the animal feedstock. Impact calculations are performed using the ReCiPe midpoint 2008 method, allowing an analysis of the environmental impacts contributing to climate change, terrestrial acidification, freshwater and marine eutrophication of all productive processes. The results have shown that the greatest impacts occur within the milk production process for all four selected impact categories. This happens mainly due to the fodder cultivation process, also necessary to produce animal feed, which contain processes of fertilization and land preparation. The enteric fermentation and manure management processes have also shown relevant contributions. The impact assessment also showed that the cheesemaking industry has practically insignificant impacts. Nonetheless, the cheesemaking industry can promote their business with these results, by advertising and marketing their product as environmentally friendly, with production processes causing reduced impacts, and therefore also their products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Article
Low-Carbon Composite Based on MOC, Silica Sand and Ground Porcelain Insulator Waste
Processes 2020, 8(7), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070829 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
Magnesium oxychloride cement-based composites (MOC) with silica sand/porcelain waste blended fillers were designed and tested. The objective of the presented research was to design and test low carbon, eco-friendly and viable alternatives to Portland cement-based materials. To make new materials environmentally acceptable and [...] Read more.
Magnesium oxychloride cement-based composites (MOC) with silica sand/porcelain waste blended fillers were designed and tested. The objective of the presented research was to design and test low carbon, eco-friendly and viable alternatives to Portland cement-based materials. To make new materials environmentally acceptable and sustainable, silica sand applied in the reference composite material was partially substituted by ground porcelain waste (PW) coming from used electrical insulators. The sand substitution ratio was 5, 10, and 15 vol.%. The chemical and mineralogical composition, morphology, and particle size distribution of porcelain waste were measured. For silica sand, porcelain waste, and MgO, specific density, loose bulk density, and Blaine fineness were determined. The effect of porcelain waste on the workability of fresh composite mixtures was characterized by spread diameter. The composites were characterized by their basic structural, mechanical, hygric, and thermal properties. The phase composition and thermal stability at high temperatures of MOC/porcelain waste pastes were also analyzed. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis helped to indicate main compounds formed within the precipitation of MOC phases and their reaction with porcelain waste. The usage of porcelain waste greatly decreased the porosity of composite matrix, which resulted in high mechanical resistance and reduced and decelerated water imbibition. The 10% sand substitution with porcelain waste brought the best mechanical resistance and the lowest water absorption due to the formation of amorphous phases, water-insoluble aluminosilicates. In case of the thermal performance of the examined composites, the low thermal conductivity of porcelain waste was the contradictory parameter to porosity and the high thermal stability of the phases present in porcelain slightly decreased the thermal decomposition of composites with porcelain waste dosage. Based on the results emerged from the experimental tests it was concluded that the partial substitution of silica sand in MOC composites enabled the development of materials possessing interesting and advanced function and technical parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review

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Review
Roles of Drying, Size Reduction, and Blanching in Sustainable Extraction of Phenolics from Olive Leaves
Processes 2021, 9(9), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9091662 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
It is now known that olive leaves contain a sizable portion of polyphenols and there is much research highlighting that these natural ingredients favorably exhibit bio-functional activities. In this regard, many studies have focused on the exploration of optimum conditions involved directly in [...] Read more.
It is now known that olive leaves contain a sizable portion of polyphenols and there is much research highlighting that these natural ingredients favorably exhibit bio-functional activities. In this regard, many studies have focused on the exploration of optimum conditions involved directly in the extraction process. These investigations, while being highly valuable, may somewhat cast a shadow over other contributing factors such as those involved in the preprocessing of leaves, including size reduction, drying, and blanching. The use of these unit operations under appropriate conditions, together with other benefits, potentially exert improved surface area, homogeneity, and diffusion/mass transfer which may help develop the liberation of target bio-compounds. The research work in this area, particularly size reduction, is relatively limited. Although in various experiments they are incorporated, not many studies have focused on them as the main predictor variables. The performance of further research may help ascertain the magnitude of their effects. Consideration of the operational parameters in preprocessing step is equally important as those in the processing/extraction step that may comparably influence on the extraction efficiency. This review provides an overview of the potential roles of drying, size reduction, and blanching in the extraction efficiency of phenolics from olive leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
Effect of Processing on Phenolic Composition of Olive Oil Products and Olive Mill By-Products and Possibilities for Enhancement of Sustainable Processes
Processes 2021, 9(6), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9060953 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
The bio-functional properties of olive oil products and by-products rely greatly on the proportions and types of the endogenous phenolics that may favorably/unfavorably change during various processing conditions. The olive oil industrial activities typically produce (i) olive oils, the main/marketable products, and (ii) [...] Read more.
The bio-functional properties of olive oil products and by-products rely greatly on the proportions and types of the endogenous phenolics that may favorably/unfavorably change during various processing conditions. The olive oil industrial activities typically produce (i) olive oils, the main/marketable products, and (ii) olive mill by-products. The mechanical processing of olive oil extraction is making progress in some areas. However, the challenges inherent in the existing system, taking into consideration, the susceptibilities of phenolics and their biosynthetic variations during processing, hamper efforts to ascertain an ideal approach. The proposed innovative means, such as inclusion of emerging technologies in extraction system, show potential for sustainable development of olive oil processing. Another crucial factor, together with the technological advancements of olive oil extraction, is the valorization of olive mill by-products that are presently underused while having great potential for extended/high-value applications. A sustainable re-utilization of these valuable by-products helps contribute to (i) food and nutrition security and (ii) economic and environmental sustainability. This review discusses typical processing factors responsible for the fate of endogenous phenolics in olive oil products/by-products and provides an overview of the possibilities for the sustainable processing to (i) produce phenolic-rich olive oil and (ii) optimally valorize the by-products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
A Review on the Effect from Steel Slag on the Growth of Microalgae
Processes 2021, 9(5), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9050769 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 391
Abstract
As a by-product from the metallurgical industry, steel slag contains a large amount of metal elements. In many developing countries, the output of steel slag is huge and the comprehensive utilization rate is low, hence the development of a novel application method for [...] Read more.
As a by-product from the metallurgical industry, steel slag contains a large amount of metal elements. In many developing countries, the output of steel slag is huge and the comprehensive utilization rate is low, hence the development of a novel application method for steel slag is of great significance to increase its utilization rate to improve the environment. This paper reviewed the dissolution behavior of Fe, P, Ca and silicate of steel slag under seawater and acidic solutions as an application in the cultivation of different microalgae, such as diatoms, spirulina, and chlorella. This review clarifies that proper pre-treatment of steel slag can effectively increase the dissolved elements of steel slag in the solution and provide more nutrients for the growth of microalgae. Microalgae cultivated with steel slag as a nutrient can be used to produce biodiesel which has a very broad application prospects for cleaner production and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
Pulse Electric Field Technology for Wastewater and Biomass Residues’ Improved Valorization
Processes 2021, 9(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9050736 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 395
Abstract
Development and adoption of more efficient and robust technologies for reuse of wastewater embedded resources, in particular materials and energy, is becoming an unavoidable necessity. Among many emerging technologies in the sector of wastewater treatment residuals valorization, Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) processes have [...] Read more.
Development and adoption of more efficient and robust technologies for reuse of wastewater embedded resources, in particular materials and energy, is becoming an unavoidable necessity. Among many emerging technologies in the sector of wastewater treatment residuals valorization, Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) processes have shown interesting potential, although they have not yet entered the sector’s mainstream as a consolidated commercial technology, as in other industrial applications, such as the food, medical, and bio-based industries. PEF is a non-thermal technology suitable to biological applications, involving gentle cell disintegration and enhanced cell membrane permeability and as such applicable to disinfection, sterilization, and to those processes that benefit from an enhanced extraction of organic compounds from biological matter, such as anaerobic digestion, biological processes for recovery of nutrients, and biorefinery of cell-embedded compounds. PEF technology applications in wastewater/biomass residues management are reported and advantages, drawbacks, and barriers of the technology are discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
Olive Tree Leaves—A Source of Valuable Active Compounds
Processes 2020, 8(9), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091177 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1455
Abstract
The agricultural and processing activities of olive crops generate a substantial amount of food by-products, particularly olive leaves, which are mostly underexploited, representing a significant threat to the environment. Olive leaves are endowed with endogenous bioactive compounds. Their beneficial/health-promoting potential, together with environmental [...] Read more.
The agricultural and processing activities of olive crops generate a substantial amount of food by-products, particularly olive leaves, which are mostly underexploited, representing a significant threat to the environment. Olive leaves are endowed with endogenous bioactive compounds. Their beneficial/health-promoting potential, together with environmental protection and circular economy, merit their exploitation to recover and reuse natural components that are potentially safer alternatives to synthetic counterparts. These biomass residues have great potential for extended industrial applications in food/dietary systems but have had limited commercial uses so far. In this regard, many researchers have endeavoured to determine a green/sustainable means to replace the conventional/inefficient methods currently used. This is not an easy task as a sustainable bio-processing approach entails careful designing to maximise the liberation of compounds with minimum use of (i) processing time, (ii) toxic solvent (iii) fossil fuel energy, and (iv) overall cost. Thus, it is necessary to device viable strategies to (i) optimise the extraction of valuable biomolecules from olive leaves and enable their conversion into high added-value products, and (ii) minimise generation of agro-industrial waste streams. This review provides an insight to the principal bioactive components naturally present in olive leaves, and an overview of the existing/proposed methods associated with their analysis, extraction, applications, and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
Larvae Mediated Valorization of Industrial, Agriculture and Food Wastes: Biorefinery Concept through Bioconversion, Processes, Procedures, and Products
Processes 2020, 8(7), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070857 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2503
Abstract
Each year, the food supply chain produces more than 1.3 billion tons of food and agricultural waste, which poses serious environmental problems. The loss of the massive quantity of secondary and primary metabolites retrievable from this resource is a significant concern. What if [...] Read more.
Each year, the food supply chain produces more than 1.3 billion tons of food and agricultural waste, which poses serious environmental problems. The loss of the massive quantity of secondary and primary metabolites retrievable from this resource is a significant concern. What if there is a global solution that caters to the numerous problems arising due to the humongous volume of waste biomass generated in every part of the world? Insects, the tiny creatures that thrive in decaying organic matter, which can concentrate the nutrients present in dilute quantities in a variety of by-products, are an economically viable option. The bioconversion and nutritional upcycling of waste biomass with insects yield high-value products such as protein, lipids, chitin and frass. Insect-derived proteins can replace conventional protein sources in feed formulations. Notably, the ability of the black soldier fly (BSF) or Hermetia illucens to grow on diverse substrates such as agri-food industry side streams and other organic waste proves advantageous. However, the data on industrial-scale extraction, fractionation techniques and biorefinery schemes for screening the nutritional potential of BSF are scarce. This review attempts to break down every facet of insect processing and analyze the processing methods of BSF, and the functional properties of nutrients obtained thereof. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Review
Food Waste Composting and Microbial Community Structure Profiling
Processes 2020, 8(6), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060723 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2363
Abstract
Over the last decade, food waste has been one of the major issues globally as it brings a negative impact on the environment and health. Rotting discharges methane, causing greenhouse effect and adverse health effects due to pathogenic microorganisms or toxic leachates that [...] Read more.
Over the last decade, food waste has been one of the major issues globally as it brings a negative impact on the environment and health. Rotting discharges methane, causing greenhouse effect and adverse health effects due to pathogenic microorganisms or toxic leachates that reach agricultural land and water system. As a solution, composting is implemented to manage and reduce food waste in line with global sustainable development goals (SDGs). This review compiles input on the types of organic composting, its characteristics, physico-chemical properties involved, role of microbes and tools available in determining the microbial community structure. Composting types: vermi-composting, windrow composting, aerated static pile composting and in-vessel composting are discussed. The diversity of microorganisms in each of the three stages in composting is highlighted and the techniques used to determine the microbial community structure during composting such as biochemical identification, polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and single strand-conformation polymorphism (SSCP), microarray analysis and next-generation sequencing (NGS) are discussed. Overall, a good compost, not only reduces waste issues, but also contributes substantially to the economic and social sectors of a nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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