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Bagasse is the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed

to extract their juice.

For each 10 tonnes of sugarcane crushed, a sugar factory produces nearly 3 tonnes of wet
bagasse. Since bagasse is a by-product of the cane sugar industry, the quantity of
production in each country is in line with the quantity of sugarcane produced.
The high moisture content of bagasse, typically 40 to 50%, is detrimental to its use as a
fuel. In general, bagasse is stored prior to further processing. For electricity production, it is
stored under moist conditions, and the mild exothermic reaction that results from the
degradation of residual sugars dries the bagasse pile slightly. For paper and pulp
production, it is normally stored wet in order to assist in removal of the short pith fibres,
which impede the papermaking process, as well as to remove any remaining sugar.
A typical chemical analysis of bagasse might be (on a washed and dried basis): [2]
Cellulose 4555%
Hemicellulose 2025%
Lignin 1824%


Waxes <1%
Bagasse is an extremely inhomogeneous material comprising around 30-40% of "pith"
fibre, which is derived from the core of the plant and is mainly parenchyma material, and
"bast", "rind", or "stem" fibre, which comprises the balance and is largely derived
fromsclerenchyma material. These properties make bagasse particularly problematic for
paper manufacture and have been the subject of a large body of literature.

Humic acid
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Humic acid is a principal component of humic substances, which are the

major organic constituents of soil (humus), peat, coal, many upland streams, dystrophic
lakes, andocean water.[1] It is produced by biodegradation of dead organic matter. It is not a
single acid; rather, it is a complex mixture of many different acids
containing carboxyl andphenolate groups so that the mixture behaves functionally as
a dibasic acid or, occasionally, as a tribasic acid. Humic acids can form complexes with
ions that are commonly found in the environment creating humic colloids. Humic and fulvic
acids (fulvic acids are humic acids of lower molecular weight and higher oxygen content
than other humic acids) are commonly used as a soil supplement in agriculture, and less
commonly as a human nutritional supplement. As a nutrition supplement, fulvic acid can be
found in a liquid form as a component of mineral colloids. Fulvic acids are poly-electrolytes
and are unique colloids that diffuse easily through membranes whereas all other colloids do
not.[citation needed] "Synthesis of fulvic acid (1a) was accomplished by a route involving selective

ozonization of 9-propenylpyranobenzopyran (1c), obtained by a regioselective cyclization of

the 2-methylsulphinylmethyl 1,3-dione(3c)."[2]

1 Formation and description

2 Chemical characteristics of humic substances

3 Determination of humic acids in water samples

4 Health issues

5 Ecological effects

6 Ancient masonry

7 See also

8 Further reading

9 References

Formation and description[edit]

Humic substances are formed by the microbial degradation of dead plant matter, such
as lignin. They are very resistant to further biodegradation. The precise properties and
structure of a given sample depend on the water or soil source and the specific conditions
of extraction. Nevertheless, the average properties of humic substances from different
sources are remarkably similar.
Humic substances in soils and sediments can be divided into three main fractions: humic
acids, fulvic acids, and humin. The humic and fulvic acids are extracted as a colloidal sol
from soil and other solid phase sources into a strongly basic aqueous solution of sodium
hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Humic acids are precipitated from this solution by
adjusting the pH to 1 with hydrochloric acid, leaving the fulvic acids in solution. This is the
operational distinction between humic and fulvic acids. Humin is insoluble in dilute alkali.
The alcohol-soluble portion of the humic fraction is, in general, named ulmic acid. So-called
"gray humic acids" (GHA) are soluble in low-ionic-strength alkaline media; "brown humic
acids" (BHA) are soluble in alkaline conditions independent of ionic strength; and fulvic
acids (FA) are soluble independent of pH and ionic strength.[3]
Liquid chromatography and liquid-liquid extraction can be used to separate the components
that make up a humic substance. Substances identified include mono-, di-, and tri-hydroxy
acids, fatty acids, dicarboxylic acids, linear alcohols, phenolic acids, and terpenoids.[4]

Chemical characteristics of humic substances[edit]

Example of a typical humic acid, having a variety of components including quinone, phenol, catechol and
sugar moieties[1]

A typical humic substance is a mixture of many molecules, some of which are based on a
motif of aromaticnuclei with phenolic and carboxylic substituents, linked together; the
illustration shows a typical structure. The functional groups that contribute most to surface
charge and reactivity of humic substances are phenolic and carboxylic groups. [1] Humic
acids behave as mixtures of dibasic acids, with a pK1 value around 4 forprotonation of
carboxyl groups and around 8 for protonation of phenolate groups. There is considerable
overall similarity among individual humic acids.[5] For this reason, measured pK values for a
given sample are average values relating to the constituent species. The other important
characteristic is charge density. The molecules may form a supramolecular structure held
together by non-covalent forces, such as Van der Waals force, -, and CH- bonds.[6]
The presence of carboxylate and phenolate groups gives the humic acids the ability to
form complexes with ions such as Mg2+, Ca2+, Fe2+ and Fe3+. Many humic acids have two or
more of these groups arranged so as to enable the formation of chelate complexes.[7] The
formation of (chelate) complexes is an important aspect of the biological role of humic acids
in regulating bioavailability of metal ions.[5]

Determination of humic acids in water samples[edit]

The presence of humic acid in water intended for potable or industrial use can have a
significant impact on the treatability of that water and the success of
chemical disinfectionprocesses. Accurate methods of establishing humic acid
concentrations are therefore essential in maintaining water supplies, especially from
upland peaty catchments in temperate climates.
As a lot of different bio-organic molecules in very diverse physical associations are mixed
together in natural environments, it is cumbersome to measure their exact concentrations in
the humic superstructure. For this reason, concentrations of humic acid are traditionally
estimated out of concentrations of organic matter (typically from concentrations of total
organic carbon (TOC) or dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

Extraction procedures are bound to alter some of the chemical linkages present in the soil
humic substances (mainly ester bonds in biopolyesters such as cutins and suberins). The
humic extracts are composed of large numbers of different bio-organic molecules that have
not yet been totally separated and identified. However, single classes of residual
biomolecules have been identified by selective extractions and chemical fractionation, and
are represented by alkanoic and hydroxy alkanoic acids, resins, waxes, lignin residues,
sugars, and peptides.

Health issues[edit]
Humic and fulvic acids, when present in treated drinking water, can react with the
chemicals used in the chlorination process to form disinfection byproducts such as
dihaloacetonitriles, which are toxic to humans.[8][9]

Ecological effects[edit]
Organic matter soil amendments have been known by farmers to be beneficial to plant
growth for longer than recorded history.[10] However, the chemistry and function of the
organic matter have been a subject of controversy since humans began their postulating
about it in the 18th century. Until the time of Liebig, it was supposed that humus was used
directly by plants, but, after Liebig had shown that plant growth depends upon inorganic
compounds, many soil scientists held the view that organic matter was useful for fertility
only as it was broken down with the release of its constituent nutrient elements into
inorganic forms. At the present time, soil scientists hold a more holistic view and at least
recognize that humus influences soil fertility through its effect on the water-holding capacity
of the soil. Also, since plants have been shown to absorb and translocate the complex
organic molecules of systemic insecticides, they can no longer discredit the idea that plants
may be able to absorb the soluble forms of humus;[11] this may in fact be an essential
process for the uptake of otherwise insoluble iron oxides.
A study on the effects of Humic acid on plant growth was conducted at Ohio State
University which said in part humic acids increased plant growth and that there were
relatively large responses at low application rates [12]

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2010 Sep;162(2):561-78. doi: 10.1007/s12010-009-8748-z. Epub

2009 Aug 27.

Fermentation of sugarcane bagasse and chicken manure to

calcium carboxylates under thermophilic conditions.
Fu Z1, Holtzapple MT.
Author information

Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals
and Fuels, University of Florida, PO Box 110700, Gainesville, FL 32611-0700, USA.


Sugarcane bagasse and chicken manure were anaerobically fermented to carboxylic acids
using a mixed culture of marine microorganisms at 55 degrees C. Using the MixAlco process-an example of consolidated bioprocessing--the resulting carboxylate salts can be converted to
mixed alcohol fuels or gasoline. To enhance digestibility, sugarcane bagasse was lime
pretreated with 0.1 g Ca(OH)(2)/g dry biomass at 100 degrees C for 2 h. Four-stage
countercurrent fermentation of 80% sugarcane bagasse/20% chicken manure was performed at
various volatile solids (VS) loading rates and liquid residence times. Calcium carbonate was
used as a buffer during fermentation. The highest acid productivity of 0.79 g/(L day) occurred at
a total acid concentration of 21.5 g/L. The highest conversion (0.59 g VS digested/g VS fed) and
yield (0.18 g total acids/g VS fed) occurred at a total acid concentration of 15.5 g/L. The
continuum particle distribution model (CPDM) predicted the experimental total acid
concentrations and conversions at an average error of 10.14% and 12.68%, respectively. CPDM
optimizations show that high conversion (>80%) and total acid concentration of 21.3 g/L are
possible with 300 g substrate/(L liquid), 30 days liquid residence time, and 3 g/(L day) solid
loading rate. Thermophilic fermentation has a higher acetate content (approximately 63 wt%)
than mesophilic fermentation (approximately 39 wt%).

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2004;18(20):2375-82.

Characterization of humic substances by matrixassisted laser desorption/ionization time-offlight massspectrometry.

Mugo SM1, Bottaro CS.
Author information

Department of Chemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, A1B

3X7, Canada.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS)
and laser desorption/ionization (LDI-)TOFMS have been used to characterize Suwannee
River humic substances, obtained from the International Humic Substances Society (IHSS), and
Armadale soil fulvic acid (ASFA). An array of MALDI matrices were tested for use with humic
substances, including alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinammic acid (CHCA), 2-(4hydroxyphenylazo)benzoic acid (HABA), 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA), sinapinic acid,
dithranol and norharmane. DHBA yielded the best results, exhibiting superior ionization
efficiency, low noise, broad applicability to the analytes of interest, and most importantly
producing an abundance of high mass ions, the highest observed being m/z 1848. A number of
sample preparation modes were investigated; the overlayer method improved sample/matrix
homogeneity and hence shot-to-shot reproducibility. The choice of the matrix, mass ratio of
analyte to matrix, and the sample preparation protocol, were found to be the most critical factors
governing the quality of the mass spectra. Matrix suppression was greatly enhanced by
ensuring good mixing of matrix and analyte in the solid phase, proper optimization of the
matrix/analyte ratio, and optimizing delayed extraction to ensure complete matrix-analyte
reaction in the plume before ions are moved to the flight tube. A number of common features, in
particular specific ions which could not be attributed to the matrices or to contaminants, were
present in the spectra of all the humic substances, regardless of origin or operational definition.
Additionally, a prominent repeating pattern of peaks separated by 55, 114 and 169 Da was
clearly observed in both LDI and MALDI, suggesting that the humic compounds studied here
may have quasi-polymeric or oligomeric features.

Bioresour Technol. 2007 May;98(8):1680-3. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Chemolytic and solid-state spectroscopic evaluation of

organic matter transformation during vermicomposting of
sugar industry wastes.
Sen B1, Chandra TS.
Author information

Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600 036,


The molecular structure of humic acid (HA) extracted was investigated by FT-IR and (13)C
CP/MAS NMR spectroscopy during the vermicomposting of sugar industry wastes, viz.
pressmud, trash and bagasse for 60days. A rapid decrease in C/N and lignocellulosic (lignin,
cellulose, hemicellulose) content was observed in vermicompost during early phase of the
process. The FT-IR and (13)C CP/MAS NMR spectra of HA indicated a high rate of change in
structure with increase in the alkyl C/O-alkyl C ratio during the process. Aromatic structures and
carboxyl groups showed an initial increase but decreased after approximately 40days indicating
extensive mineralization during final stages of vermicomposting.

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2010 Jun 1;106(2):216-27. doi: 10.1002/bit.22679.

Anaerobic mixed-culture fermentation of aqueous

ammonia-treated sugarcane bagasse in consolidated
Fu Z1, Holtzapple MT.
Author information

Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals
and Fuels, University of Florida, PO Box 110700, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0700, USA.

Environ Geochem Health. 2014 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Restoration of sodic soils involving chemical and

biological amendments and phytoremediation by
Eucalyptus camaldulensis in a semiarid region.
Seenivasan R1, Prasath V, Mohanraj R.
Author information

Department of Environmental Management, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli,

620024, India.

Salt-affected soils in semiarid regions impede the agricultural productivity and degrade the
ecosystem health. In South India, several hectares of land are salt-affected, where the
evapotranspiration exceeds the annual precipitation. This study is an attempt to ameliorate

sodic soils, by an experiment involving chemical treatment (addition of gypsum), organic

amendments (decomposed bagasse pith and green manuring with Sesbania rostrata) and
phytoremediation by plantation of Eucalyptus camaldulensis. The prime focus is to minimize the
use of gypsum and improve the soilhealth in terms of nutrients, microbial population and
enzyme activity in addition to sodicity reclamation. At the end of the third year, a reduction of
10 % in soil pH, 33 % in electrical conductivity and 20 % in exchangeable sodium percentage
was achieved compared to the initial values. Three- to fourfold increases in organic carbon
content were observed. Significant improvement in the available major and micronutrients
of soil, microbial growth and enzyme activity was observed, suggesting phytoremediation by E.
camaldulensis as a sustainable option for restoration of similar kind of degraded lands.