From waste to resource – one example: beet pulp
One underused source for the material recovery of polysaccharides has up until now been the remains of annual plants like beet pulp which is made up of the main components cellulose, pectin and hemicellulose. In one project, the possibilities of material recovery from beet pulp were investigated using simple and, in the end, inexpensive chemical and thermochemical extraction processes. Here beet pulp could be broken down into inorganic or organic acids using hydrolysis, into molten salt using decomposition and into monosugars and oligomers using enzymatic hydrolysis. The polyols created by this enabled polyurethane hard foams to be produced.