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Biofuel production and phosphorus recovery through an integrated treatment of agro-industrial waste

TitleBiofuel production and phosphorus recovery through an integrated treatment of agro-industrial waste
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSiciliano, A., Limonti C., Mehariya S., Molino Antonio, and Calabrò V.
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
KeywordsActinidia deliciosa, Asparagus, Lycopersicon esculentum, Solanum tuberosum

The present study aimed to develop an integrated treatment of agro-industrial waste for biofuel (biogas and syngas) production and for phosphorus recovery. In the first step, an anaerobic digestion (AD) process was carried out on two different mixtures of raw agro-industrial residues. Specifically, a mixture of asparagus and tomato wastes (mixture-1) and a mixture of potatoes and kiwifruit residues (mixture-2) were investigated. The results proved that the properties of mixtures notably affect the evolution of the digestion process. Indeed, despite the lower organic load, the maximum biogas yield, of about 0.44 L/gCODremoved, was obtained for mixture-1. For mixture-2, the digestion process was hindered by the accumulation of acidity due to the lack of alkalinity in respect to the amount of volatile fatty acids. In the second step, the digestates from AD were utilized for syngas production using supercritical water gasification (SCWG) at 450 °C and 250 bar. Both the digestates were rapidly converted into syngas, which was mainly composed of H2, CO2, CH4, and CO. The maximum values of global gasification efficiency, equal to 56.5 g/kgCOD, and gas yield, equal to 1.8 mol/kgTS, were detected for mixture-2. The last step of the integrated treatment aimed to recover the phosphorus content, in the form of MgKPO4·6H2O, from the residual liquid fraction of SCWG. The experimental results proved that at pH = 10 and Mg/P = 1 it is possible to obtain almost complete phosphorus removal. Moreover, by using the scanning electronic microscopy, it was demonstrated that the produced precipitate was effectively composed of magnesium potassium phosphate crystals. © 2018 by the authors.


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Citation KeySiciliano2018