Agricultural Waste is unwanted or undesirable materials produced wholly from agricultural operations directly related to the growing of crops or raising of farm animals for the basic purpose of making a profit or for a livelihood. Some examples of agricultural waste include manure, spoiled grain, grain screenings, livestock carcasses, fertilizer, undigested rumen material, and fertilizer containers. Agricultural waste is one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste in our environment. However, it can be recycled to produce a wide range of products that are useful for many industries, including building materials, paper and cardboard manufacturing, etc. The use of agricultural waste reduces the damage caused by this waste in our environment and also provides jobs for people who work in these industries.
List of Recycled Products that Can be Produced from Agricultural Waste
1. Animal feed
Animal feed can be produced from agricultural waste. Animal feed is a good source of protein and other nutrients for animals, which keeps them healthy.
2. Biodegradable plastics
Biodegradable plastics are made from natural materials. They can be recycled and are used in a variety of applications, including food packaging, medical applications, and other uses.
Biodegradable plastics are typically made from plants or plant-based materials such as starch or cellulose. While bioplastics do not contain fossil fuels, they do require energy to produce them which can come from the burning of fossil fuels like coal or crude oil.
There are several types of bioplastics that have been developed for different purposes: thermoplastic starch (TPS), polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), chitin, and cyclodextrin
Biofuels are fuels derived from biological sources, such as agricultural waste. Biomass can be used directly as a fuel or converted into other forms of energy. The main types of biofuel produced from agricultural waste are ethanol and biodiesel.
- Biogas can be used to generate electricity.
- Biogas can be used as fuel for vehicles.
- Biogas can be used for cooking.
- Biogas can be used for heating.
- Biogas can be used to produce hydrogen, which is an energy source that is cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas
4. Briquettes, Pellets, and Other Solid Fuels
Briquettes and pellets are often used as solid fuels. Both of these can be made from agricultural waste.
5. Building Products
Crop waste can be converted into recycled building materials, thereby minimizing waste and improving sustainability within the construction industry. While agriculture is one of the world’s most important industries, it also produces millions of tons of plant and crop waste each year. This waste comprises a diverse range of wood-like materials, such as rice husks, flax shives, wheat straws, bagasse, canola stalks, oat hulls, and grapevines.
6. Compost and Soil Conditioners
Compost is a natural fertilizer that can be used to fertilize the soil. It is produced by the decomposition of organic waste, such as manure and plants, through aerobic microbial action. The term “compost” can be used interchangeably with the term “soil amendment”. Compost improves the structure and nutrient content of soils and helps retain moisture. Since compost contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other trace elements that are essential for plant growth, it is frequently used as an alternative to commercial fertilizers in agriculture.
The composting process involves breaking down organic materials into smaller pieces by mixing them with water and turning them regularly so that oxygen can reach all parts of the mixture. This process takes place over several weeks or months depending on many factors including temperature and moisture content (how much water there is). In this way it is similar to making porridge; cooking porridge requires time because it needs heat from below (from boiling) coupled with airflow around its surface area so that all parts become heated at roughly equal rates – just like your leftovers don’t cook evenly if you leave them too long because some bits have been warmed but others haven’t had enough time yet!
7. Hemicellulose and cellulose derivatives for textile and paper industries
Hemicellulose and cellulose derivatives are used in the textile and paper industries.
Hemicellulose is used to make paper, while cellulose derivatives are used to make textiles. Hemicelluloses from agricultural waste can be converted into chemicals that can be used in the production of paper products, including newsprint and tissue paper.
8. Hides, Skins, and Tanners
Animal hides, skins, and tanners are used in the leather industry. Leather is a valuable natural product used since ancient times as a raw material for making shoes, bags, and other products. It is an important part of the economy in many countries such as India and Brazil.
Animal hides are often processed into the leather by treating them with chemicals such as chrome tanning or vegetable tanning. Chrome-tanned leathers are more supple than vegetable-tanned ones but less durable unless impregnated with waterproofing agents such as waxes or oils; these treatments tend to stiffen leathers from being too soft when new. Vegetable-tanned leathers are more decorative than plainer types because they retain their natural markings; they also have a tendency to absorb moisture so they age better if kept away from direct sunlight.
Industrial chemicals, e.g. citric acid for food processing industries; acetone for the paint industry; ethanol for pharmaceuticals; glycerine for cosmetics, etc.
Insecticides are used to control pests that damage crops or cause disease in humans. They can also be used in urban areas, horticulture, and forestry. The chemicals that are sprayed on plants or the ground around them are known as insecticides.
Examples of insecticides include:
- DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was an insecticide first synthesized by Paul Hermann Müller in 1874, but its effectiveness against mosquitoes was not discovered until 1939 when it was used during World War II for malaria control. In 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson linked DDT use with the eggshell thinning of bald eagles and other birds of prey. As a result, countries began banning its use.
10. Leather manufacturing enzymes, e.g. proteinase, lipase, amylase, etc.
Leather manufacturing enzymes are used to break down the proteins in animal hides. The enzymes help soften up the hair and make it easier for tanning. During this process, these enzymes act as catalysts that speed up the chemical reaction between proteins and tannins. The end result is leather that’s less stiff and more supple—perfect for clothing fabrication!
11. Methane production
- Methane is a renewable energy source, meaning that it can be produced through natural processes. Methane is an odorless gas that combusts to create heat and electricity. It can also be used as fuel for vehicles or as an ingredient in fertilizer.
- Producing methane from agricultural waste involves breaking down organic material to produce biogas (or methane), which can then be burned or used to generate electricity and heat.
12. Paper and cardboard products
Paper and cardboard products are produced from agricultural waste. Paper and cardboard can be recycled to make new paper, which is then used to make more paper or packaging materials. The packaging materials may be used in their entirety, or they may be torn into smaller pieces and used as pulp for the manufacture of the new paper.
Paper can also be ground into fibers that will form part of a mixture for use in making insulation material for buildings, furniture, and vehicles; packing material for shipping goods across long distances; wrapping around items such as foodstuffs to protect them from damage during transport; backing material on which text or images are printed in order to produce posters advertising a service or product; containers made from recycled paperboard (e.g. cereal boxes); gift wrapping papers containing recycled content; notepads made from both coated and uncoated papers containing recycled content; sanitary napkin covers made with either bleached pulp fiber or mechanical wood pulp fiber woven into plastic film backing sheets (for example Tampax®). They also serve as construction materials when mixed with cement mortar or lightweight concrete blocks during building construction projects.
13. Particulate boards of various types (MDF)
MDF is made from wood particles and glue. It can be used to make furniture, paneling, and other wooden items. MDF is a sustainable material because it’s made from renewable resources, including agricultural waste such as corn stalks, wheat straws, or sugarcane bagasse. These materials are all biodegradable so they will not last forever in landfills. The particles that makeup MDF are recyclable because they’re made of cellulose fiber which can be broken down into essential nutrients for plants when composted properly.