Hydrothermal Carbonization of Spent Osmotic Solution (SOS) Generated from Osmotic Dehydration of Blueberries
Hydrothermal carbonization of spent osmotic solution (SOS), a waste generated from osmotic dehydration of fruits, has the potential of transformation into hydrochars, a value-added product, while reducing cost and overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal. Osmotic solution (OS) and spent osmotic solution (SOS) generated from the osmotic dehydration of blueberries were compared for their thermo-chemical decomposition behavior and hydrothermal carbonization. OS and SOS samples were characterized for total solids, elemental composition, and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). In addition, hydrothermal carbonization was performed at 250 °C and for 30 min to produce hydrochars. The hydrochars were characterized for elemental composition, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area, particle shape and surface morphology. TGA results show that the SOS sample loses more weight in the lower temperature range than the OS sample. Both samples produced, approximately, 40%–42% (wet-feed basis) hydrochar during hydrothermal carbonization but with different properties. The OS sample produced hydrochar, which had spherical particles of 1.79 ± 1.30 μm diameter with a very smooth surface. In contrast, the SOS sample produced hydrochar with no definite particle shape but with a raspberry-like surface.