Research Topic

Pretreatment of Industrial and Agricultural Residues: A Circular Economy Concept

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About this Research Topic

Globalization represents one of the major barriers for the long-term sustainability of waste management and, on the contrary, appropriate residue management is undoubtedly one of the key factors for a sustainable globalization. Thus, there is a growing need to concentrate on the linkages between globalization ...

Globalization represents one of the major barriers for the long-term sustainability of waste management and, on the contrary, appropriate residue management is undoubtedly one of the key factors for a sustainable globalization. Thus, there is a growing need to concentrate on the linkages between globalization and residue management. Moreover, with the vast surge in production rate of industrial waste destined for landfill, there is an urgent need to develop sustainable waste management strategies in order to improve and sustain the wellbeing of humans and their environment.

Biotechnological processes applied to environmental protection and nutrient recycling often make use of industrial and agricultural residues that optimize water resources, and that propitiate bioenergy and biofertilizer production through a Circular Economy approach. A Circular Economy aims to look beyond the current use-make-waste industrial model and, instead, re-think and redesign production strategies in order to (1) design out waste and pollution, (2) maintain use of products and materials and (3) regenerate natural systems. Pretreatments based on physical, chemical and biological methods are essential for the use of complex residues and for minimization of inhibitors related to microbial/fermentative processes for energy production and yield. Moreover, pretreatments play a crucial role in the sanitary management of these residues and allows them to be widely recirculated in the form of either wastewater or fertilizers.

With a view to sustainability, this Research Topic will be an interdisciplinary exploration of pretreatment strategies in biotechnological processes, with the overall aim of environmental protection, sustainable biomaterial development, and bioenergetic optimization. Particular focus will be placed on the nexus between Biotechnology, Water/Nutrient Reuse, Security and Bioenergy.

We welcome manuscripts that will approach the strategic process for biomass engineering regarding important pretreatments aiming to valorize biomass for biotechnological applications, such as enzyme production and bioenergy. Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- substrates with complex structures (such as agriculture and agro-industrial residues and livestock)
- pretreatment importance for a circular economy approach.
- new methods and protocols for reuse of residues for energy
- environmental protection and nutrient recycling through employing industrial and agricultural residues
- bioenergy and biofertilizer production using a Circular Economy approach

We welcome reviews and original research articles of high scientific quality. We hope that this Topic will host an interdisciplinary discussion among experts in the fields of Biotechnology, Sustainability, Waste Management, Biosecurity and Bioenergy with the common goal of supporting and transitioning to a Circular Economy.


Keywords: Pretreatment, Bioenergy, Reuse, Environmental Protection, Risk Reduction


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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