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Valorization of cherry pits: Great Lakes agro-industrial waste to mediate Great Lakes water quality

Valorization of cherry pits: Great Lakes agro-industrial waste to mediate Great Lakes water quality

Environmental Pollution 2020: 116073

ISSN/ISBN: 0269-7491

PMID: 33261964

DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116073

To meet human food and fiber needs in an environmentally and economically sustainable way, we must improve the efficiency of waste, water, and nutrient use by converting vast quantities of agricultural and food waste to renewable bioproducts. This work converts waste cherry pits, an abundant food waste in the Great Lakes region, to biochars and activated biochars via slow pyrolysis. Biochars produced have surface areas between 206 and 274 m(2)/g and increased bioavailability of Fe, K, Mg, Mn, and P. The biochars can be implemented as soil amendments to reduce nutrient run-off and serve as a valuable carbon sink (biochars contain 74-79% carbon), potentially mitigating harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. CO2-activated biochars have surface areas of up to 629 m(2)/g and exhibit selective metal adsorption for the removal of metals from simulated contaminated drinking water, an environmental problem plaguing this region. Through sustainable waste-to-byproduct valorization we convert this waste food biomass into biochar for use as a soil amendment and into activated biochars to remove metals from drinking water, thus alleviating economic issues associated with cherry pit waste handling and reducing the environmental impact of the cherry processing industry.

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Accession: 071094795

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