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Deep Eutectic Solvents pretreatment of agro-industrial food waste

Procentese, Alessandra, Raganati, Francesca, Olivieri, Giuseppe, Russo, Maria Elena, Rehmann, Lars, Marzocchella, Antonio
Biotechnology for biofuels 2018 v.11 no.1 pp. 37
apples, biodegradability, biomass, choline, enzymes, food waste, fuels, hydrolysis, industry, ionic liquids, lignocellulose, market analysis, potatoes, spent grains, sugars, temperature, Europe
BACKGROUND: Waste biomass from agro-food industries are a reliable and readily exploitable resource. From the circular economy point of view, direct residues from these industries exploited for production of fuel/chemicals is a winning issue, because it reduces the environmental/cost impact and improves the eco-sustainability of productions. RESULTS: The present paper reports recent results of deep eutectic solvent (DES) pretreatment on a selected group of the agro-industrial food wastes (AFWs) produced in Europe. In particular, apple residues, potato peels, coffee silverskin, and brewer’s spent grains were pretreated with two DESs, (choline chloride–glycerol and choline chloride–ethylene glycol) for fermentable sugar production. Pretreated biomass was enzymatic digested by commercial enzymes to produce fermentable sugars. Operating conditions of the DES pretreatment were changed in wide intervals. The solid to solvent ratio ranged between 1:8 and 1:32, and the temperature between 60 and 150 °C. The DES reaction time was set at 3 h. Optimal operating conditions were: 3 h pretreatment with choline chloride–glycerol at 1:16 biomass to solvent ratio and 115 °C. Moreover, to assess the expected European amount of fermentable sugars from the investigated AFWs, a market analysis was carried out. The overall sugar production was about 217 kt yr⁻¹, whose main fraction was from the hydrolysis of BSGs pretreated with choline chloride–glycerol DES at the optimal conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The reported results boost deep investigation on lignocellulosic biomass using DES. This investigated new class of solvents is easy to prepare, biodegradable and cheaper than ionic liquid. Moreover, they reported good results in terms of sugars’ release at mild operating conditions (time, temperature and pressure).