Production of biofuels, limonene and pectin from citrus wastes

Mohammad Pourbafrani, G Forgacs, Ilona Sárvári Horváth, Claes Niklasson, Mohammad J. Taherzadeh

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244 Citations (SciVal)


Production of ethanol, biogas, pectin and limonene from citrus wastes (CWs) by an integrated process was investigated. CWs were hydrolyzed by dilute-acid process in a pilot plant reactor equipped with an explosive drainage. Hydrolysis variables including temperature and residence time were optimized by applying a central composite rotatable experimental design (CCRD). The best sugar yield (0.41 g/g of the total dry CWs) was obtained by dilute-acid hydrolysis at 150 °C and 6 min residence time. At this condition, high solubilization of pectin present in the CWs was obtained, and 77.6% of total pectin content of CWs could be recovered by solvent recovery. Degree of esterification and ash content of produced pectin were 63.7% and 4.23%, respectively. In addition, the limonene of the CWs was effectively removed through flashing of the hydrolyzates into an expansion tank. The sugars present in the hydrolyzates were converted to ethanol using baker’s yeast, while an ethanol yield of 0.43 g/g of the fermentable sugars was obtained. Then, the stillage and the remaining solid materials of the hydrolyzed CWs were anaerobically digested to obtain biogas. In summary, one ton of CWs with 20% dry weight resulted in 39.64 l ethanol, 45 m3 methane, 8.9 l limonene, and 38.8 kg pectin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4246-4250
Number of pages5
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Citrus waste; Ethanol; Biogas; Limonene; Pectin


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