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Valuable Compound Extraction, Anaerobic Digestion, and Composting: A Leading Biorefinery Approach for Agricultural Wastes

Fermoso, Fernando G., Serrano, Antonio, Alonso-Fariñas, Bernabé, Fernández-Bolaños, Juan, Borja, Rafael, Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Guillermo
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.66 no.32 pp. 8451-8468
agricultural industry, agricultural wastes, anaerobic digestion, biomass, biorefining, composting, ethanol production, fuels, roads, value added
In a society where the environmental conscience is gaining attention, it is necessary to evaluate the potential valorization options for agricultural biomass to create a change in the perception of the waste agricultural biomass from waste to resource. In that sense, the biorefinery approach has been proposed as the roadway to increase profit of the agricultural sector and, at the same time, ensure environmental sustainability. The biorefinery approach integrates biomass conversion processes to produce fuels, power, and chemicals from biomass. The present review is focused on the extraction of value-added compounds, anaerobic digestion, and composting of agricultural waste as the biorefinery approach. This biorefinery approach is, nevertheless, seen as a less innovative configuration compared to other biorefinery configurations, such as bioethanol production or white biotechnology. However, any of these processes has been widely proposed as a single operation unit for agricultural waste valorization, and a thoughtful review on possible single or joint application has not been available in the literature up to now. The aim is to review the previous and current literature about the potential valorization of agricultural waste biomass, focusing on valuable compound extraction, anaerobic digestion, and composting of agricultural waste, whether they are not, partially, or fully integrated.