(560q) Food Waste Repurposing to an Integrated Biorefinery

Ebikade, E., University of Delaware
Vlachos, D. G., University of Delaware
Food waste repurposing provides an alternative waste management strategy towards meeting goal 12 of the United Nations sustainable development goals. We have successfully repurposed potato peel waste (PPW) for manufacturing value added products. We report high antioxidant activity of potato peel extractives (PPE), providing a natural alternative to chemically synthesized antioxidants for human health. Our optimized dehydration system resulted in the highest reported yields (54%) of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), directly from potato peels, for manufacturing biobased chemical precursors. Our response surface methodology (RSM) studies reveal a synergistic contribution of AlCl3 concentration-time and AlCl3 concentration-temperature on glucose dehydration. Also, our synthesized biochar is effective in removing pesticides from contaminated water, improving water quality. Converting PPW into antioxidants, HMF, and biochar, we obtain revenues of about $8500 per MT of dry PPW. This provides the opportunity for successful translation of our technology to an economically profitable process using zero value food waste. This study provides a sustainable valorization framework that can be extended to other types of FW and offers a template for assessing the economics of biomass based biorefineries for manufacturing multiple renewable products.