Juniperus communis L. is a species commonly grown in regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and is a good candidate to be cultivated in marginal lands. Plants coming from a pruning performed in a natural population located in Spain were used to assess the yield and quality of different products obtained following the cascade principle. A total of 1050 kg of foliage biomass were crushed, steam-distilled, and separated into fractions to produce biochar and absorbents for the pet industry using pilot plants. The obtained products were analysed. The essential oil, with a yield of 0.45% dry basis and a qualitative chemical composition similar to that described for the berries in international standards or monographs, showed antioxidant activity with promising CAA results (inhibition of 89% of the cell's oxidation). However, regarding antibacterial and antifungal activities, it only inhibited the growth of microorganisms at the maximum concentration tested, 2.5%. Concerning the hydrolate, it did not show bioactivity. Regarding the biochar, whose yield was 28.79% dry basis, interesting results were obtained for its characterisation as a possible soil improver for agronomic purposes (PFC 3(A)). Finally, promising results were obtained regarding the use of common juniper as absorbent, taking into account the physical characterisation and odour control capacity.
Keywords: absorbent; bioactivity; biochar; essential oil; hydrolate.