Journal article Open Access

Valorization of the poultry litter through wet torrefaction and different activation treatments

P. J. Arauzo; P. A. Maziarka; M. P. Olszewski; R. L. Isemin; N. S. Muratova; F. Ronsse; A. Kruse

The increase in volume in bio-waste is inseparable from the production of biomass derived commodities. To reduce
the use of conventional resources, the valorization of waste streams is gaining importance, and the
valorisation of poultry litter fits perfectly into such scheme. This study shows a possible valorization of wet
torrefied (300 °C) poultry litter (WTPL) through activation and its further use as a fertilizer, and as a wastewater
micro-pollutant absorbent. The WTPL was activated thermally, physically (CO2) and chemically (KOH) at two
different temperatures (600 °C and 800 °C) and 30 min residence time. The properties of ACs were evaluated
based on results of the elemental and proximate analysis, suspension pH measurement, ICP-OES, FT-IR, N2 and
CO2 adsorption and quantity of absorbed methylene blue (MB). The yields in thermal and physical ACs were
comparable, but much higher than ACs from chemical activation (c.a. 50% and 15% at 600 °C and c.a. 47% and
6.5% at 800 °C). The thermal and physical ACs showed good suitability for application as a fertilizer due to their
high macro- and micro-nutrients and low heavy metals concentration. Carbons activated with KOH proved
their usefulness as wastewater pollutant absorbers through high MB's absorption (675.8 mg/g for 600 °C and
872.8 mg/g for 800 °C). Results state that the valorization of PL through activation is possible, and the selection
of the activation method affects the final application of obtained material.

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