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Valuable applications for peat moss

Abstract

Peat is commonly known as a biofuel but it also has other more or less traditional uses, for example in folk medicine, building materials, or preservation of foods. Several studies suggest that the main composers of peat lands, Sphagnum mosses, may also have potential for a variety of other value-added products. Typically, those are related to the antibacterial and other preservative properties of Sphagnum, or to their high water adsorption ability. Molecular level applications, however, are still rarely reported. This might owe to the complex chemistry of Sphagnum and lacking cost-efficient technologies for the isolation of components of interest. In this literature survey, the structural and chemical properties of Sphagnum are reviewed together with their suggested uses. This is expected to facilitate new efforts to find commercially feasible applications for these extraordinary plants.

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Acknowledgments

This work was conducted under financing of the University of Oulu, Chemical Process Engineering research group.

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Correspondence to Sanna Taskila.

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Taskila, S., Särkelä, R. & Tanskanen, J. Valuable applications for peat moss. Biomass Conv. Bioref. 6, 115–126 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-015-0169-3

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Keywords

  • Sphagnum
  • Moss
  • Peat
  • Peat moss
  • Composition
  • Hydrolysis
  • Application
  • Fermentation
  • Preservation
  • Absorption