Food loss (FL) and food waste (FW) have become severe global problems, contributing to resource inefficiency and environmental degradation. Approximately 6% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are derived from FW, which is usually discarded in landfills, emitting methane, a gas that is 28 times more harmful than CO2. Diverting the path of FW towards the energy industry represents a promising avenue to mitigate the environmental impact and save resources while generating energy substitutes. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach was utilized to conduct a systematic literature review on 10 different conversion processes used to convert FL and FW into energy. Anaerobic bioconversion integrated with pyrolysis emerges as a potential eco-friendly and promising solution for FW management, nutrient recovery and energy production in various forms, including biogas, heat, biohydrogen and biochar. Despite its potential, the anaerobic digestion of FW still faces some challenges related to the production of intermediate harmful compounds (VOCs, NH3, H2S), which necessitate precise process control and optimization. Nonetheless, converting FW into energy can provide economic and environmental benefits in the context of the circular economy. This review offers insightful information to stakeholders, academics and policymakers who are interested in utilizing FW as a means of producing sustainable energy by summarizing the important findings of ten different waste-to-energy processing methods and their potential for improved energy recovery efficiency.

Turning Food Loss and Food Waste into Watts: A Review of Food Waste as an Energy Source

Naddeo, Vincenzo;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Food loss (FL) and food waste (FW) have become severe global problems, contributing to resource inefficiency and environmental degradation. Approximately 6% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are derived from FW, which is usually discarded in landfills, emitting methane, a gas that is 28 times more harmful than CO2. Diverting the path of FW towards the energy industry represents a promising avenue to mitigate the environmental impact and save resources while generating energy substitutes. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach was utilized to conduct a systematic literature review on 10 different conversion processes used to convert FL and FW into energy. Anaerobic bioconversion integrated with pyrolysis emerges as a potential eco-friendly and promising solution for FW management, nutrient recovery and energy production in various forms, including biogas, heat, biohydrogen and biochar. Despite its potential, the anaerobic digestion of FW still faces some challenges related to the production of intermediate harmful compounds (VOCs, NH3, H2S), which necessitate precise process control and optimization. Nonetheless, converting FW into energy can provide economic and environmental benefits in the context of the circular economy. This review offers insightful information to stakeholders, academics and policymakers who are interested in utilizing FW as a means of producing sustainable energy by summarizing the important findings of ten different waste-to-energy processing methods and their potential for improved energy recovery efficiency.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4870657
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