Cotton stalk (CS) plant residue left in the field following harvest must be buried or burned to prevent it from serving as an overwintering site for insects such as the pink bollworm (PBW). This pest incurs economic costs and detrimental environmental effects. However, CS contains lignin and carbohydrates, like cellulose and hemicelluloses, which can be converted into a variety of usable forms of energy. Thermochemical or biochemical processes are considered technologically advantageous solutions. This chapter reviews potential energy generation from cotton stalks through combustion, hydrothermal carbonization, pyrolysis, fermentation, and anaerobic digestion technologies, focusing on the most relevant technologies and on the properties of the different products. The chapter is concluded with some comments on the future potential of these processes.
Part of the book: Advances in Cotton Research