Material utilization of organic residues

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food waste is generated globally. This waste traces back to industrial and agricultural producers, bakeries, restaurants, and households. Furthermore, lignocellulosic materials, including grass clippings, leaves, bushes, shrubs, and woods, appear in large amounts. Depending on the region, organic waste is either composted, burned directly, or converted into biogas. All of the options set aside the fact that organic residues are valuable resources containing carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and phosphorus. Firstly, it is clear that avoidance of organic residues is imperative. However, the residues that accumulate nonetheless should be utilized by material means before energy production is targeted. This review presents different processes for the microbial utilization of organic residues towards compounds that are of great importance for the bioeconomy. The focus thereby is on the challenges coming along with downstream processing when the utilization of organic residues is carried out decentralized. Furthermore, a future process for producing lactic acid from organic residues is sketched.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)733-745
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2018

    Research areas

  • Biology - Decentralized utilization, Lactic acid fermentation
  • Chemistry - Downstream processing, Hydrolysis