Special Issue "Value-Added Compounds from Compost, Digestate and Agro-Industrial Waste"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ezio Riggi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of BioEconomy, National Research Council of Italy, 95126 Catania, Italy
Interests: agriculture; crop physiology; environmental sciences; ecology; food quality; food science; technology; plant sciences; soil quality; waste
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection National Research Council of Italy, IPSP-CNR, 10135 Turin, Italy
Interests: abiotic stress; agriculture; crop physiology; mycorrhizal fungi; plant nutrition; plant–microbe interactions; plant sciences; soil microorganisms
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Edoardo Marco Napoli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, National Research Council ICB-CNR, 95126 Catania, Italy
Interests: natural compound chemistry; green chemistry; agro-industrial waste valorization; analytical chemistry; phytochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Even though, at present, climate change and the depletion of fossil sources have driven the search for more sustainable waste management, there remain many agricultural, environmental, economic, and social issues to be addressed for a truly sustainable organic waste management chain.

Studies on specific compounds to be extracted from very complex matrices as compost, digestate and agro-industrial wastes could contribute to support their best use in agriculture and other fields but also could contribute to:

  • the creation of economic value from organic waste;
  • the improvement of the social acceptance of waste-derived products.

As an example of the potential added value, on the “agricultural side of the story”, the recently approved REGULATION (EU) 2019/1009, introducing a new kind of fertilizing agent named “biostimulants”, could foster the market of products potentially derived from organic waste proven to affect plant health.

In this Special Issue, papers on the recovery of value-added compounds for a new use on several fields and application of extracts from organic waste-derived products in crop production and soil management are welcome. The effects of these substances on plant nutrition and defense and their impact on root-associated microorganisms and symbiotic interactions will be specifically stressed.

In particular, research papers and short communications will cover the following themes:

  • Compounds extracted from compost and digestate and their effects on plant and soil;
  • Interaction of compounds extracted from compost and digestate with root-associated microorganisms;
  • Novel uses of value-added compounds recovered from agro-industrial wastes;
  • Extraction techniques and costs;
  • Economic and environmental impacts and social acceptance.

Dr. Ezio Riggi
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Dr. Edoardo Marco Napoli
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. Resources 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 1600 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

  • biostimulants
  • waste management
  • waste organic fraction
  • compost
  • digestate
  • value-added compounds

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Biowaste-Derived Humic-like Substances Improve Growth and Quality of Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata L. Jacq.) Plants in Soilless Potted Culture
Resources 2021, 10(8), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10080080 - 08 Aug 2021
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Abstract
Humic-like substances (HLS) are among the most used biostimulants in agriculture as a means for improving plant growth, nutrient uptake, crop yield, and stress tolerance. HLS derived from municipal biowastes were applied as a substrate drench in order to evaluate their biostimulatory effect [...] Read more.
Humic-like substances (HLS) are among the most used biostimulants in agriculture as a means for improving plant growth, nutrient uptake, crop yield, and stress tolerance. HLS derived from municipal biowastes were applied as a substrate drench in order to evaluate their biostimulatory effect on the growth and ornamental quality of Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata L. Jacq.) potted plants. Two HLS, derived from the digestion of the organic humic fraction and from composting of a mix of sewage sludge digestate and gardening residues, were compared with a commercial leonardite-based product in the framework of a greenhouse experiment in soilless culture. The application of the two biowaste-derived HLS resulted in plants showing a 39.9%, 87.0%, 111.6%, 35.4%, 37.9%, 35.3%, and 81.3% increase in plant height, number of flowers and fruits, leaf production, total dry biomass, root length, and water use efficiency, respectively, compared to those treated with the commercial product and the untreated (control) plants. The enhanced growth performance of HLS-treated plants was due to the higher chlorophyll relative content (+24.2% on average) and net photosynthesis (+114.7% on average) of their leaves. The positive results obtained from the application of non-commercial HLS suggest that biowaste recycling is a sustainable and environment-friendly source of biostimulants, as an alternative to agrochemicals and existing leonardite-based plant biostimulants. Full article
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Article
Valorization of Agri-Food Waste from Pistachio Hard Shells: Extraction of Polyphenols as Natural Antioxidants
Resources 2021, 10(5), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10050045 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1136
Abstract
The agricultural processing industry usually generates a remarkable amount of by-products rich in bioactive compounds, which can be exploited for agri-food or nutraceutical applications. Pistachio’s hard shell is one of the major by-products from pistachio industrial processing. The aim of this work was [...] Read more.
The agricultural processing industry usually generates a remarkable amount of by-products rich in bioactive compounds, which can be exploited for agri-food or nutraceutical applications. Pistachio’s hard shell is one of the major by-products from pistachio industrial processing. The aim of this work was the evaluation of pistachio shells as a potential source of natural antioxidants. We evaluated different extraction procedures by measuring total phenolic content, total flavonoid content and antioxidative activity (DPPH, TEAC and ORAC). The microwave-assisted ethanol extract turned out to be the most promising and was fractionated by XAD-16 column chromatography, affording six fractions analyzed through HPLC/ESI-MS/MS and 1H-NMR to identify the main antioxidative constituents. Fractions Fr4–Fr6 demonstrated the highest antioxidant activity. Gallic acid and a monogalloylglusose isomer are the main phenolic constituents of Fr4. Both simple and complex phenolics, such as flavonoids and hydrolysable tannins, were identified in fractions Fr5 and Fr6; pentagalloylglucose and kaempferol, well-known for their antioxidant activity, are the most abundant constituents. The results highlighted that the proposed methodology can be an effective way to recover bioactive phenolic compounds from pistachio hard shell, making this by-product a promising source of compounds with potential applications in food and healthcare sectors. Full article
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Review

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Review
Fermentation of Biodegradable Organic Waste by the Family Thermotogaceae
Resources 2021, 10(4), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10040034 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
The abundance of organic waste generated from agro-industrial processes throughout the world has become an environmental concern that requires immediate action in order to make the global economy sustainable and circular. Great attention has been paid to convert such nutrient-rich organic waste into [...] Read more.
The abundance of organic waste generated from agro-industrial processes throughout the world has become an environmental concern that requires immediate action in order to make the global economy sustainable and circular. Great attention has been paid to convert such nutrient-rich organic waste into useful materials for sustainable agricultural practices. Instead of being an environmental hazard, biodegradable organic waste represents a promising resource for the production of high value-added products such as bioenergy, biofertilizers, and biopolymers. The ability of some hyperthermophilic bacteria, e.g., the genera Thermotoga and Pseudothermotoga, to anaerobically ferment waste with the concomitant formation of bioproducts has generated great interest in the waste management sector. These biotechnologically significant bacteria possess a complementary set of thermostable enzymes to degrade complex sugars, with high production rates of biohydrogen gas and organic molecules such as acetate and lactate. Their high growth temperatures allow not only lower contamination risks but also improve substrate solubilization. This review highlights the promises and challenges related to using Thermotoga and Pseudothermotoga spp. as sustainable systems to convert a wide range of biodegradable organic waste into high value-added products. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Valorisation of agro-waste biomass: a challenge for the production of hemicellulolytic enzymes by the thermophilic bacterium Thermoanaerobacterium thermostercoris strain BUFF

Abstract:Processing and selection of fruits and vegetables generate high amounts of wastes that represent an economical and environmental issue for the agroindustry sector. According to the so called “biorefinery” approach, these biomass can be exploited for the recovery of value added molecules. In this paper the residues of industrial processing of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum variety “Hybrid Rome”), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and carrot (Daucus carota), were used as sole carbon sources to support cheap microbial growth of Thermoanaerobacterium thermostercoris strain BUFF, a saccharolytic, thermophilic anaerobic microorganism isolated from buffalo-dung. Moreover, the production of hemicellulolytic enzymes and metabolites, such as hydrogen and ethanol, were also investigated.

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