Crop residue management is one of the major problems in agricultural countries for farmers as well as the environment. A large part of this residue is either burnt or left in the landfill to rot causing GHG emissions.
One of the ways crop waste can be managed is converting them to valuable products such as chemicals.
With the emerging need for sustainable chemicals, in particular, food and pharma industries, exploring the conversion of agro waste to chemicals could be a viable business opportunity.
What are the key sustainability benefits?
Use of agricultural residues for valuable products such as chemicals significantly reduces the CO2 and methane emissions caused by disposing them.
An equally important benefit is the economic benefit to the society in the form of higher incomes for the farmer community. What was earlier wasted and was considered a nuisance can today provide them with substantial increases in their overall incomes.
Use of natural chemicals also enables food and related industries to meet their sustainability goals.
How does this work?
Various chemicals such as five -carbon sugars (Xylose and arabinose), furfural and their derivatives can be produced from agro wastes. Agro waste is first pre-treated for size reduction and hydrolyzed using acid or alkali reactions. The hydrolysed solution is filtered and distilled to separate suitable chemicals.
Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products
New synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed