A pinboard by
Robinson Timung

Ph.D research scholar, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati


Global valorization of wastes with the goal of a sustainable and environmental friendly process

Aromatic plants are major natural resources of our country (India) occurring in diverse ecosystems. It provides natural source of high industrial value raw material for agriculture, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries and opens up new opportunities for farmers with a significant scope for rural development. Essential oils or value added extracts from aromatic plants are required for perfumery, flavor, fragrance and cosmetic industries. But, the extraction yield of essential oil is limited to approximately 3% and 97% of non-valorized solid and liquid wastes are generated, which have biological potentialities. Such problems can be eliminated either by developing new extraction technologies or introduce new innovative scheme based on existing technologies allowing a global valorization of wastes with the goal of a sustainable and environmental friendly process. This work is an endeavor of establishing the possibilities of transforming all non-valorized solid and liquid wastes into biosourced co-products such as value added anti-bacterial molecules, biochemicals or bioenergy.

Essential oil derived from certain parts of aromatic plants has high industrial importance and opens up opportunities for rural development. Additionally, Citronella oil is widely used in fragrance industries, pharmaceutical industry and for aromatherapy. But, after extraction of the valuable essential oil from aromatic plants, the spent biomass are non-cattle feed and hence discarded as waste or burn haphazardly leading to environmental problems. Hence, the present study has the objectives of optimization of essential oil extraction from different parts of Java citronella using hydro distillation and physico-chemical characterization of the extracted oil. Besides proximate and ultimate analysis, the physico-chemical analysis of citronella biomass (original and spent) were performed using bomb calorimeter, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis, x-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and CHNS to evaluate the feasibility of the biomass to be used for the production of bioenergy and bio-chemicals. The present study also emphasize on the comparison of conventional pretreatment process such as dilute acid, alkaline and enzymatic hydrolysis with subcritical water hydrolysis (SCW) - greener technology, on the spent citronella biomass and sugarcane Bagasse.