Biogas produced from apple pomace could help reduce use of fossil fuels

Scientists at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Federal University of the ABC (UFABC) in São Paulo state, Brazil, have successfully produced biogas from apple pomace, the pulpy residue remaining after the fruit has been crushed to extract its juice.

An article describing the research is published in the journal Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. The key concept is that of the circular economy, a system of closed loops designed to reduce costs, recover resources from waste, promote reuse and recycling, and maximize use of bioenergy and biomaterials.

Apples are among the most widely consumed fruits worldwide, both fresh and processed as juice, vinegar and cider, among other products. The apple processing industry throws away much of the fruit as waste.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global apple production totaled almost 86.5 metric tons in 2020. The main producers were China (46.85%), the United States (5.38%) and Turkey (4.97%).

Biorefining with dry anaerobic digestion produces electricity and thermal energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and valorizes waste via conversion to organic fertilizer."

Tânia Forster Carneiro, Study Last Author, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

Carneiro earned a PhD in industrial process engineering from the University of Cadiz in Spain in 2004 and is currently a lecturer in bioengineering and biotechnology at UNICAMP's School of Food Engineering (FEA).

Anaerobic digestion, she explained, is a microbiological process involving consumption of nutrients and production of methane. Dry anaerobic digestion, with total solids in the reactor exceeding 15%, is considered an efficient method of recycling solid organic waste and far more environmentally appropriate than landfill disposal.

The results pointed to a yield of 36.61 liters of methane per kilogram (kg) of removed solids, potentially generating 1.92 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and 8.63 megajoules (MJ) of heat per ton of apple pomace.

The bioenergy thus recovered could supply 19.18% of the electricity and 11.15% of the heat used to operate the anaerobic biorefining reactor designed by the researchers, who conclude that biofuels and bioelectricity can contribute to public policy, reduce fossil fuel consumption and cut the greenhouse gas emissions from organic residues.

Energy transition

The research group found the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by the biogas corresponded to 0.14 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in the electricity and 0.48 kg of CO2e in the heat generated per ton of apple pomace.

"Anaerobic digestion is a stable technology and can be implemented in small to medium plants, assisting the circular economy transition and offering an added-value alternative to disposal of fruit residues as waste that benefits the entire supply chain," Carneiro said.

Source:
Journal reference:

Ampese, L. C., et al. ( 2022) Valorization of apple pomace for biogas production: a leading anaerobic biorefinery approach for a circular bioeconomy. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. doi.org/10.1007/s13399-022-03534-6

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoLifeSciences.
Post a new comment
Post
Azthena logo

AZoM.com powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from AZoNetwork.com.

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Tomatoes as Nature's Antibacterial Agents