Energy-water nexus strategies for the energetic valorization of orange peels based on techno-economic and environmental impact assessment

Elias Martinez-Hernandez, Moisés Magdaleno Molina, Luis A. Melgarejo Flores, Ma Esther Palmerín Ruiz, Juan A. Zermeño EguiaLis, Andrés Rosas Molina, Jorge Aburto, Myriam A. Amezcua-Allieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


© 2019 Institution of Chemical Engineers The techno-economic and environmental aspects of the energy valorization of orange peel waste for steam generation in a citrus processing facility have been investigated in this work, with a view to recommend energy-water nexus strategies. The techno-economic results showed that the alternative scenario using orange peels can be economically and environmentally beneficial with respect to the base case using fuel oil. For the orange peels to be economically attractive, a low costing of biomass together with efficient drying and combustion process would be necessary. Furthermore, it was found that to be feasible, the minimum orange peel processing capacity is 500 t/d so that economic savings can be achieved in respect to fuel oil. From the LCA results, the global warming potential (GWP) of the steam generated from dried orange peels is of 5.37 g CO2-eq/MJ, which is 94% lower than the reference value for fuel oil. Significant mitigations are also achieved for abiotic depletion, acidification, ozone depletion, human toxicity, and seawater aquatic eco-toxicity potential. However, improvement of water treatment and reduction of water consumption, as well as increasing combustion efficiency and treatment of flue gases is required to reduce the higher impacts in other categories. From these results, strategies such as stream energy recovery, excess ratio optimization, as well as water and value-added chemical recovery are recommended to develop synergetic relationships in the energy-water nexus of the conversion of orange peels into energy. This study shows how techno-economic and LCA studies are essential to devise ways to manage both bioenergy and water resources in agroindustrial production processes.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)380-387
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Bioproducts Processing
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

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