Integral valorization of orange peel waste through optimized ensiling: Lactic acid and bioethanol production

Chemosphere. 2021 May;271:129602. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129602. Epub 2021 Jan 9.


The management of the huge amount of orange peel waste (OPW) is a complex issue although it has a very high potential in terms of biorefining. One of the main problems in the valorisation of OPW is the seasonality of its production with the ensiling method being largely proposed as a possible solution. During the ensiling process, value added chemicals including lactic acid, acetic acid and ethanol are spontaneously produced together with a significant loss of volatile solids (VS) . In this contribution, the stimulation of lactic acid bacteria by either a biological (inoculation with leachate coming from a previous ensiling process) or chemical (MnCl2 supplementation) methods has been tested with the aim to increase the chemicals production preventing, at the same time, the VS loss. The inoculation with the leachate improves both the VS recovery (+7%) and the concentration of lactic acid (+113%) with respect to the uninoculated one (control). The overall yields of the process are noticeable, up to about 55 g·kgTS-1 of lactic acid, 26 g·kgTS-1 of acetic acid and 120 g g·kgTS-1 of ethanol have been produced. On the other hand, the chemical stimulation enhances the production of liquid products together with a significant VS loss. The proposed preservation method, due to its simplicity, can be easily implemented at full-scale allowing the production of added-value chemicals and the concurrent storage of the OPW that can be further valorised (e.g. animal feed, pectin or biomethane production).

Keywords: Acetic acid; Ensiling; Ethanol; Lactic acid; Microbial population; Orange peel waste.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Citrus sinensis*
  • Fermentation
  • Lactic Acid*
  • Silage / analysis


  • Lactic Acid
  • Acetic Acid