A review of thermal and thermocatalytic valorization of food waste
Food waste (FW) remains a global challenge due to the increasing demand for food production to support a growing global population and the lack of effective waste management technologies for recycling and upcycling. Unique compounds in FW – such as carbohydrates, proteins, lignin, fats, and extractives – can be repurposed to produce important biobased fuels, bulk chemicals, dietary supplements, adsorbents, and antibacterial products, among many others. We review the thermal and thermocatalytic FW valorization strategies and the fundamental pathways. We discuss the potential integration of various valorization processes, their economic viability, the technical and marketing challenges, and the need for further developments. By overcoming several technical hurdles, repurposing FW into modular plants can create exciting economic and environmental prospects.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Green Chemistry Hot Articles