87 research outputs found

    Integrated chemical and biochemical technology to produce biogas with a reduced ammonia content from municipal biowaste. Validating lab-scale research in a real operational environment

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    The current paper reports the scientific, technical, environmental, economic and social impacts of two integrated chemical and biochemical processes that employed a novel virtuous biowaste cycle under real operational conditions of three industrial sites in Italy, Greece and Cyprus. The work was based on previous laboratory research pertinent to the valorisation of municipal biowastes (MBWs) as a feedstock to obtain value added soluble biobased (SBO) products. The research pointed out that the site-specific nature of MBW was the main criticality, which could potentially hinder the industrialisation of the MBW-SBO paradigm. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of a new scenario for a conventional waste treatment plan collecting and processing MBWs by anaerobic and aerobic fermentation. In essence, the virtuous biowaste cycle is realised by producing SBO from the plant MBW (process 1) and recirculating it to the MBW feed of the anaerobic fermentation reactor to reduce the ammonia content in the digestate (process 2). This mitigates the digestate's environmental impact. Life cycle sustainability assessment demonstrates that the use of SBO produced from local MBW allowed reducing the ammonia content of the digestate generated from the local anaerobic fermentation facilities in the three different countries by 21–68% as well its eutrophication potential. Process 2 allowed at least 86% OPEX cost saving compared to conventional digestate post-treatment technologies for ammonia abatement, while paying off the CAPEX cost in less than one year. Socio-economic analysis evaluated the impacts on workers and local community stakeholders, potentially stemming from the implementation of processes 1 and 2 at European level. The analysis of SBO composition and performances in each operational site investigated showed that improved performance of process 2 might be achieved by isolating the active principles in raw SBO prior to their use in process 2. Chemical and biochemical catalysis by SBO active principles in process 2 support the specific perspective

    Biowaste-derived humic-like substances improve growth and quality of orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata l. jacq.) plants in soilless potted culture

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    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

    Photoinduced transformation of waste-derived soluble bio-based substances

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    Waste-derived, soluble bio-based substances (SBO), are effective low-cost photosensitizers that couldfind application in pollutant photodegradation. For this reason, it is important to understand if and towhat extent irradiation could modify their properties. The exposure of SBO to simulated sunlight inducedimportant spectral and structural modifications. Both the whole material and its acid-soluble fractionwere characterized, highlighting several properties in common with humic and fulvic substances, includingabsorption spectra, specific absorbance and fluorescence behavior. The latter was described with athree-component model using PARAFAC analysis. Irradiation induced SBO photobleaching, but the absorbanceof the acid-soluble fraction increased with irradiation. This finding suggests a progressivephotochemical solubilization of SBO, which is confirmed by the increase of the carboxylic groups. In additionto absorbance, the fluorescence of whole SBO was also decreased by irradiation, thereby suggestingthat both chromophores and fluorophores were photodegraded. The increasingly hydrophilic charactergiven to SBO by irradiation also accounted for the photoinduced decrease of the surfactant propertiesof the material.Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquímicas Teóricas y AplicadasConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnica

    Integrated biochemical and chemical processing of municipal bio-waste to obtain bio based products for multiple uses. The case of soil remediation

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    In line with the Green Supply Chain Management, Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Natural-Resource-Based Views (NRBV), the present study is as further step of a long range research program initiated in 2004. The project aims to demonstrate municipal bio-waste (MBW) as feedstock to produce bio based chemicals alternative to fossil sourced products. Previous work demonstrated MBW as source of polymeric biosurfactants (BPS) with multiple properties for use in chemical and agriculture sectors. The present paper reports now a new BPS feature, i.e. that BPS are efficient active principles for soil remediation. The study involves three BPS obtained by alkaline hydrolysis from different streams of an MBW treatment plant: the anaerobic digestate of food kitchen waste (FORSUD), the compost (CV) of gardening residues and the compost (CVDF) of a mix of gardening residues, digestate and sewage sludge. The BPS have 5 to over 750 kg/mol molecular weight, characterized by the presence of aliphatic C chains substituted by aromatic moieties and several different acid and basic functional groups. They were used at 0.1–100 g L−1 in aqueous solution to wash soil sampled from an Italian metal polluted site. Collected data statistical analysis was carried out by ANOVA. The recovered washing solutions were analyzed for Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn, Pb. The 50–100 g/L CVDF BPS solutions exhibited 98-81% extraction efficiency, compared to 70-60% for CV and FORSUD. Compared to conventional commercial extractants, CVDF BPS extraction efficiency ranked as CVDF = diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid > ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid > sodium dodecyl sulphate. A new two steps process was studied: (1) use of BPS solution for washing the polluted soil; (2) treating the recovered solution by acidification and membrane filtration to separate a pollutant concentrate from water for further use. Results indicate membrane filtration more efficient and/or sustainable. They confirm BPS as value added products upgrading MBW from societal cost to source of benefits
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