Evaluating economic potential of food waste valorization: Onward to a diverse feedstock biorefinery

Elsevier, Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 26, December 2020, 100385
Authors: 
Abigail S. Engleberth

Food waste valorization is a hot topic due to the cornucopia of waste generated and the ensuing detrimental environmental effects. Food is lost or wasted in a variety of means on its way from field to mouth. Once deemed inedible, it is considered a waste, but it still contains first-rate organic material that can be processed and used to create a host of new products, chemicals, or energy. Upgrading food wastes can be performed in a variety of processes. A look into the economics shows that while most of the processes show promise for profitability, it is also clear that facility size and product portfolio play a major role in downstream success. A biorefinery concept operating on both agro-industrial and commercial/residential wastes would likely provide the most profit.