From Waste to Green: Water-Based Extraction of Polyphenols from Onion Peel and Their Adsorption on Biochar from Grapevine Pruning Residues

Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Aug 31;12(9):1697. doi: 10.3390/antiox12091697.


Onion peels (OP) are rich in bioactive compounds with a plethora of benefits for human health, but this valuable material is often wasted and underutilized due to its inedibility. Likewise, grapevine pruning residues are commonly treated as agricultural waste, but biochar (BC) obtained from this material has favorable characteristics as an adsorbent. This study investigated the potential of BC in removal of targeted polyphenolic compounds from OP extracts. The OP extracts were obtained adhering to green chemistry principles using deionized water amplified by three methods: maceration (MAC), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE). The extraction efficiency on the polyphenolic profile and antioxidant capacity was investigated with different extraction temperatures and solid-to-liquid (s/l) ratios. For further analysis, UAE at 90 °C with an s/l ratio of 1:100 was used due to higher polyphenolic compound yield. The BC adsorption capacity of individual polyphenols was fitted with the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. Quercetin-3,4'-diglucoside obtained the highest R2 coefficient in both models, and the highest qmax value. The optimum conditions in the dosage experiment suggested an amount of 0.5 g of BC using 3 g/L extracts. The studied BC showed a high affinity for targeted phytochemicals from OP extracts, indicating its potential to be applied for the green adsorption of valuable polyphenolic compounds.

Keywords: adsorption capacity; bioactive compounds; biomass valorization; green chemistry; phytochemicals.