|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 2|
Wastes from a vegetal extracts industry (cocoa, oak, Guarana and mate) were characterized by particle size, proximate and ultimate analysis, lignocellulosic fractions, high heating value, thermal analysis (Thermogravimetric analysis – TGA, and Differential thermal analysis - DTA) and energy density to evaluate their potential as biomass in the form of briquettes for power generation. All wastes presented adequate particle sizes to briquettes production. The wastes showed high moisture content, requiring previous drying for use as briquettes. Cocoa and oak wastes had the highest volatile matter contents with maximum mass loss at 310 ºC and 450 ºC, respectively. The solvents used in the aroma extraction process influenced in the moisture content of the wastes, which was higher for mate due to water has been used as solvent. All wastes showed an insignificant loss mass after 565 °C, hence resulting in low ash content. High carbon and hydrogen contents and low sulfur and nitrogen contents were observed ensuring a low generation of sulfur and nitrous oxides. Mate and cocoa exhibited the highest carbon and lignin content, and high heating value. The dried wastes had high heating value, from 17.1 MJ/kg to 20.8 MJ/kg. The results indicate the energy potential of wastes for use as fuel in power generation.
Worldwide, about two-thirds of industrial and domestic wastewater effluent is discharged without treatment, which can cause contamination and eutrophication of the water. In particular, for Mediterranean countries, irrigation with treated wastewater would mitigate the water stress and support the agricultural sector. Changing global weather patterns will make the situation worse, due to increased susceptibility to drought, which can cause major environmental, social, and economic problems. The study was carried out in open field in an intensive agricultural area of the Apulian region in Southern Italy where freshwater resources are often scarce. As well as providing a water resource, irrigation with treated wastewater represents a significant source of nutrients for soil–plant systems. However, the use of wastewater might have further effects on soil. This study thus investigated the long-term impact of irrigation with reclaimed agro-industrial wastewater on the chemical characteristics of the soil. Two crops (processing tomato and broccoli) were cultivated in succession in Stornarella (Foggia) over four years from 2012 to 2016 using two types of irrigation water: groundwater and tertiary treated agro-industrial wastewater that had undergone an activated sludge process, sedimentation filtration, and UV radiation. Chemical analyses were performed on the irrigation waters and soil samples. The treated wastewater was characterised by high levels of several chemical parameters including TSS, EC, COD, BOD5, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4-N, PO4-P, K+, SAR and CaCO3, as compared with the groundwater. However, despite these higher levels, the mean content of several chemical parameters in the soil did not show relevant differences between the irrigation treatments, in terms of the chemical features of the soil.