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Verona, Italy

Fascella G.,Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e lanalisi delleconomia agraria | Montoneri E.,Biowaste Processing | Ginepro M.,University of Turin | Francavilla M.,University of Foggia
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Soluble bio-based substances (SBS) isolated from municipal biowastes and a commercial Leonardite-based product were applied as substrate drench or as foliar spray to grow the ornamental hybrid Euphorbia x lomi. The SBS were found more powerful than the commercial Leonardite product in enhancing plant photosynthesis, growth and aesthetic effect, improving flower quality, and optimizing water use efficiency. Enhancement factors of plant performance indicators by SBS ranged from 1.3 to 8.6 relatively to the control plants, and from 1.2 to 4.5 relatively to plants treated with the commercial Leonardite product at equal applied dose. The environmental and economic implication of these results for agriculture, the management of urban wastes, and the chemical industry are discussed. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Rosso D.,ACEA Pinerolese Industriale S.p.A. | Fan J.,University of York | Montoneri E.,Biowaste Processing | Negre M.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Green Chemistry | Year: 2015

The hydrolysis of five fermented water insoluble urban wastes is shown to convert the insoluble recalcitrant organic lignin-like fraction to added value soluble lignin-like products in high yields. The hydrolysate products are a mixture of complex polymeric molecules which maintain the memory of the proximates of the pristine materials. For a composted biowaste, taken as the case study, a process feasibility study comparing the microwave (MW) assisted versus the conventional (CON) reaction is reported. Product yields and quality are investigated as a function of four process parameters: i.e. pH (8-13), temperature (60-200 °C), and liquid-solid w/w ratio (4 and 10) and contact time (1 min-4 h). Microwave heating allows obtaining the same products, and in the same yields, as conventional heating in 1-2 orders of magnitude lower time. It is possible to achieve 50-60% yields of soluble lignin-like products at relatively low temperatures ≤100 °C. The obtained yield vs. temperature trend indicates that even higher yields may be obtained at higher temperatures. The potential scalability of MW assisted versus CON hydrolysis to the industrial level is discussed in relation to the reaction rate and reactor cost. The results offer worthwhile research scope to compare MW and CON heating for the hydrolysis of other fermented and non-fermented material as collected biowastes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.

Franzoso F.,University of Turin | Vaca-Garcia C.,ENSIACET | Vaca-Garcia C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Rouilly A.,ENSIACET | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2016

Water-soluble biopolymers (SBO) were isolated from the alkaline hydrolysate of two materials sampled from an urban waste treatment plant; that is, an anaerobic fermentation digestate and a compost. The digestate biopolymers contained more lipophilic and aliphatic C, and less acidic functional groups than the compost biopolymers. The SBO were blended with poly (vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene), hereinafter EVOH. The blends were extruded and characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, size exclusion chromatography (SEC)- multi angle static light scattering (MALS) analysis, and for their thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties. The blends behavior depended on the type of SBO and its relative content. Evidence was obtained for a condensation reaction occurring between the EVOH and SBO. The best results were obtained with the blends containing up to 10% SBO isolated from the biowaste anaerobic digestate. Compared with the neat EVOH, these blends exhibited lower melt viscosity and no significant or great difference in mechanical properties. The results on the extrudates, compared with those previously obtained on the same blends obtained by solvent casting, indicate that the blends properties depend strongly also on the processing technology. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Tabasso S.,University of Turin | Berto S.,University of Turin | Rosato R.,University of Turin | Marinos J.A.T.,University of Turin | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

This work reports a study of the proton-binding capacity of biopolymers obtained from different materials supplied by a municipal biowaste treatment plant located in Northern Italy. One material was the anaerobic fermentation digestate of the urban wastes organic humid fraction. The others were the compost of home and public gardening residues and the compost of the mix of the above residues, digestate and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed under alkaline conditions to yield the biopolymers by saponification. The biopolymers were characterized by 13C NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The titration data were elaborated to attain chemical models for interpretation of the proton-binding capacity of the biopolymers obtaining the acidic sites concentrations and their protonation constants. The results obtained with the models and by NMR spectroscopy were elaborated together in order to better characterize the nature of the macromolecules. The chemical nature of the biopolymers was found dependent upon the nature of the sourcing materials. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Monterumici C.M.,University of Turin | Rosso D.,ACEA Pinerolese Industriale S.p.A. | Montoneri E.,Biowaste Processing | Ginepro M.,University of Turin | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

The aim of this work was to address the issue of processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture, by comparing materials widely differing for the amount of process energy consumption. Thus, residual post harvest tomato plants (TP), the TP hydrolysates obtained at pH 13 and 60 °C, and two known biochar products obtained by 650 °C pyrolysis were prepared. All products were characterized and used in a cultivation of radish plants. The chemical composition and molecular nature of the materials was investigated by solid state 13C NMR spectrometry, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The plants were analysed for growth and content of chlorophyll, carotenoids and soluble proteins. The results show that the TP and the alkaline hydrolysates contain lignin, hemicellulose, protein, peptide and/or amino acids moieties, and several mineral elements. The biochar samples contain also similar mineral elements, but the organic fraction is characterized mainly by fused aromatic rings. All materials had a positive effect on radish growth, mainly on the diameter of roots. The best performances in terms of plant growth were given by miscanthus originated biochar and TP. The most significant effect was the enhancement of soluble protein content in the plants treated with the lowest energy consumption non processed TP. The significance of these findings for agriculture and the environment is discussed. © 2015 by the authors. licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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