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Integrated production of biodiesel and bioactive compounds from microalgae biomass employing ethanol plant wastewater

Grant number: 22/07496-0
Support Opportunities:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Regular Program Grants
Duration: November 01, 2022 - October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Convênio/Acordo: FACEPE
Principal Investigator:João Carlos Monteiro de Carvalho
Grantee:João Carlos Monteiro de Carvalho
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Ana Lucia Figueiredo Porto ; Lívia Seno Ferreira Camargo ; Marcelo Chuei Matsudo ; Marina Ishii ; Milena de Paiva Cavalcanti ; Romero Marcos Pedrosa Brandão Costa

Abstract

Diversifying the energy matrix for the development of a sustainable model represents an important strategy for the development of a country. Brazil is the second biggest bioethanol producer worldwide, generating high amount of CO2 and vinasse as byproducts. The vinasse may be treated by anaerobic bio-digestion, releasing CH4 (methane), which is considered a renewable energy in the emerging market. The bio-digested liquid effluent still contains nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which together with the CO2 may be used as nutrient medium for cultivating microalgae. Microalgae are highlighted as the next generation industrial biotechnology platform for producing bioenergy and bioactive compounds. The drawback for employing microalgae as source of bioenergy is the production costs, which may be reduced by the use of industrial wastewaters, employment of genetically modified strains for enhancing oil productivity, and association with the production of bioenergy with high added value compounds applied to food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Microalgae are known as natural, renewable and sustainable sources of several promising bioactive compounds. In this sense, the present project aims to evaluate the use of vinasse, after anaerobic treatment, with the CO2 released by the bio-digestion, for the cultivation of wildtype and mutant microalgae, genetically modified for inhibiting the carbohydrate synthesis and lipid accumulation. This project also aims to evaluate the production and purification of peptides and proteins, with in vitro anti-hypertensive, fibrinolytic, and leishmanicidal activities, obtained from wild type and mutant microalgae biomass, adding value to the generated products. Therefore, the present project may contribute to the development of a sustainable energy matrix from microalgae biomass, offering a sustainable and efficient process by maximizing economical, environmental and social benefits. (AU)

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