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    Citrus wastewaters (CWWs) are by-products of the citrus fruit transformation process. Currently, more than 700 million of m³ of CWWs per year are produced worldwide. Until nowadays, the management of CWWs is based on a take-make-use-dispose model. Indeed, after being produced within a citrus processing industry, CWWs are subjected to treatment and then discharged into the environment. Now, the European Union is pushing towards a take-make-use-reuse management model, which suggests to provide for the minimization of residual pollutants simultaneously with their exploitation through a biorefinery concept. Indeed, the recovery of energy nutrients and other value-added products held by CWWs may promote environmental sustainability and close the nutrient cycles in line with the circular bio-economy perspective. Unfortunately, knowledge about the benefits and disadvantages of available technologies for the management and valorisation of CWWs are very fragmentary, thus not providing to the scientific community and stakeholders an appropriate approach. Moreover, available studies focus on a specific treatment/valorisation pathway of CWWs and an overall vision is still missing. This review aims to provide an integrated approach for the sustainable management of CWWs to be proposed to company managers and other stakeholders within the legislative boundaries and in line with the circular bio-economy perspective. To this aim, firstly, a concise analysis of citrus wastewater characteristics and the main current regulations on CWWs are reported and discussed. Then, the main technologies with a general comparison of their pros and cons, and alternative pathways for CWWs utilization are presented and discussed. Finally, a focus was paid to the economic feasibility of the solutions proposed to date relating to the recovery of the CWWs for the production of both value-added compounds and agricultural reuse. Based on literature analysis an integrated approach for a sustainable CWWs management is proposed. Such an approach suggests that after chemicals recovery by biorefinery, wastewaters should be directly used for crop irrigation if allowed by regulations or addressed to treatment plant. The latter way should be preferred when CWWs cannot be directly applied to soil due to lack of concomitance between CWWs production and crop needs. In such a way, treated wastewater should be reused after tertiary treatments for crop irrigation, whereas produced sludges should be undergone to dewatering treatment before being reused as organic amendment to improve soil fertility. Finally, this review invite European institutions and each Member State to promote common and specific legislations to overcome the fragmentation of the regulatory framework regarding CWWs reuse. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Caterina Lucia, Vito Armando Laudicina, Luigi Badalucco, Antonino Galati, Eristanna Palazzolo, Michele Torregrossa, Gaspare Viviani, Santo Fabio Corsino. Challenges and opportunities for citrus wastewater management and valorisation: A review. Journal of environmental management. 2022 Nov 01;321:115924

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    PMID: 36104880

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