The agro-industrial sector makes a high contribution to greenhouse gas emissions; therefore, proper waste management is crucial to reduce the carbon footprint of the food chain. Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a promising and flexible thermochemical process for converting organic materials into energy and added-value products that can be used indifferent applications. In this work, grape marc residues before and after an extraction process for recovering polyphenols were hydrothermally treated at 220 degrees C for 1 h. The resulting hydrochar and process water were investigated to test an innovative cascade approach aimed at a multiple product and energy recovery based on the integration of HTC with anaerobic digestion. The results show that this biorefinery approach applied to grape marc could allow to diversify and integrate its potential valorisation options. The produced hydrochars possess an increased fixed carbon content compared to the feedstock (up to +70%) and, therefore, can be used in soil, immobilizing carbon in a stable form and partially replacing peat in growing media (up to 5 % in case of hydrochar from grape marc after extraction), saving the consumption of this natural substrate. In addition, energy can be recovered from both hydrochar by combustion and from process water through anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. Hydrochars show good properties as solid fuel similar to lignite, with an energy content of around 27 MJ kg(-1) ( +30 % compared to the feedstock). The anaerobic digestion of the process water allowed obtaining up to 137 mL of biomethane per gram of fed COD. Finally, while HTC process waters are suitable for biological treatment, attention must be paid to the presence of inhibiting compounds that induce acute toxic effects in aerobic conditions. The proposed approach is consistent with the principles of circular economy and could increase the overall sustainability and resilience of the agro-industrial sector.

A cascade biorefinery for grape marc: Recovery of materials and energy through thermochemical and biochemical processes

Farru, G
;
Cappai, G;Carucci, A;De Gioannis, G;Asunis, F;Muntoni, A;Perra, M;Serpe, A
2022-01-01

Abstract

The agro-industrial sector makes a high contribution to greenhouse gas emissions; therefore, proper waste management is crucial to reduce the carbon footprint of the food chain. Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a promising and flexible thermochemical process for converting organic materials into energy and added-value products that can be used indifferent applications. In this work, grape marc residues before and after an extraction process for recovering polyphenols were hydrothermally treated at 220 degrees C for 1 h. The resulting hydrochar and process water were investigated to test an innovative cascade approach aimed at a multiple product and energy recovery based on the integration of HTC with anaerobic digestion. The results show that this biorefinery approach applied to grape marc could allow to diversify and integrate its potential valorisation options. The produced hydrochars possess an increased fixed carbon content compared to the feedstock (up to +70%) and, therefore, can be used in soil, immobilizing carbon in a stable form and partially replacing peat in growing media (up to 5 % in case of hydrochar from grape marc after extraction), saving the consumption of this natural substrate. In addition, energy can be recovered from both hydrochar by combustion and from process water through anaerobic digestion to produce biogas. Hydrochars show good properties as solid fuel similar to lignite, with an energy content of around 27 MJ kg(-1) ( +30 % compared to the feedstock). The anaerobic digestion of the process water allowed obtaining up to 137 mL of biomethane per gram of fed COD. Finally, while HTC process waters are suitable for biological treatment, attention must be paid to the presence of inhibiting compounds that induce acute toxic effects in aerobic conditions. The proposed approach is consistent with the principles of circular economy and could increase the overall sustainability and resilience of the agro-industrial sector.
2022
Hydrothermal Carbonizarion; Biofuel; Soil Amendment; Biomethane; Biorefinery
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/348115
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