NC State
Samoraj, M., Tuhy, Ł., Rusek, P., Rój, E., and Chojnacka, K. (2016). "Pilot plant conversion of blackcurrant seeds into new micronutrient fertilizer biocomponents via biosorption," BioRes. 11(1), 400-413.


A new approach for micronutrient fertilizer biocomponent production based on blackcurrant seeds is presented. Blackcurrant seeds constitute a by-product from the production of jellies, jams, and juices. New environmental-friendly fertilizers with micronutrients were produced in the pilot plant as alternative sustainable fertilizers to conventional options. Post-extraction residues, obtained after supercritical CO2 extraction was conducted on blackcurrant seeds, were used. In each process, 15 kg of biosorbent was used. Good sorption capacity was achieved (6.48 mg/g for Zn(II), 13.9 mg/g for Cu(II) and 5.88 mg/g for Mn (II)). The adsorption kinetics was described using different kinetic models; the most suitable were the Nelson-Yoon and Thomas models. The new preparation has application-friendly form (micro-granules) and is nontoxic. For a dose of 2.5 kg of zinc, 1 kg of manganese, and 0.5 kg of copper per hectare (often used in vegetable fertilization), approximately 600 kg of mixed end product is required. The cost of fertilization with current scale technology will be about four times higher than that of conventional technology (including depreciation of equipment), but with process scale-up, it is possible to reduce costs even twice over.
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