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Bioconversion of polystyrene and food waste streams into biochar: an upgraded enzymatic activation system.
Authors: Juan C. Sanchez-Hernandez, Ximena Andrade Cares and Andreea Bustan
Abstract: Pyrolysis is a suitable strategy for managing two residues of global concern: plastics and food waste.1 The addition of plastics to the pyrolysis of biomass (co-pyrolysis) seems to improve the sorptive properties of biochar (carbonaceous pyrolysis product).2 However, one of the technical limitations of this type of co-pyrolysis is the different densities between materials, which limits the proportion of plastic in the mixture or forces a plastic pre-treatment to increase its density.3 To solve this technical limitation, the capability of some insect larva species to chew plastics emerges as a low-cost alternative method.4 Taking advantage of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) voracity, we propose to use the frass (manure) from larvae fed with polystyrene (PS) and spend bread diets to produce biochar with upgraded features for enzymatic functionalization.
Keywords: Pyrolisis, biochar, insect larva, frass