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Bioproducts from microalgae and cyanobacterial biomass as new agricultural inputs and food supplements: a sustainable approach

Grant number: 22/11282-6
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2023 - January 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Kelly Afonsina Fernandes
Grantee:Kelly Afonsina Fernandes
Host Company:Cyanochem Serviços de Apoio Administrativo Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de produtos químicos orgânicos não especificados anteriormente
Coleta de resíduos não-perigosos
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Piracicaba
Pesquisadores principais:
Ernani Pinto Junior ; Marli de Fátima Fiore
Associated researchers:Ernani Pinto Junior
Associated scholarship(s):23/05281-0 - Bioproducts from microalgae and cyanobacterial biomass as new agricultural inputs and food supplements: a sustainable approach, BP.PIPE
23/05372-5 - Bioproducts from microalgae and cyanobacterial biomass as new agricultural inputs and food supplements: a sustainable approach., BP.TT
23/05442-3 - Bioproducts from microalgae and cyanobacterial biomass as new agricultural inputs and food supplements: a sustainable approach, BP.TT

Abstract

The increase of nutrients (artificial eutrophication) especially phosphate and nitrogen compounds in aquatic ecosystems, especially in lentic systems, provides a favorable location for the over development of aquatic plants and phytoplankton (algae, microalgae, and cyanobacteria). The excess of phytoplankton and plant matter in water bodies, in addition to causing a chain reaction, causes ecological imbalance and changes in the physical-chemical patterns of water, when it decomposes, it releases significant amounts of gases into the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect. Added to this, some species of cyanobacteria release toxic compounds in blooms events, causing intoxication and/or death of aquatic, terrestrial and even human organisms. Recent research indicates that more than 40% of the planet's water bodies are eutrophic, and predicts that climate change will further accelerate the eutrophication of the world's rivers and lakes. Therefore, it is necessary and urgent to implement policies and actions between society public and private authorities that guarantee the preservation and sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems. Water treatment plants and hydroelectric plants (UHE) in Brazil have invested in technological resources and chemical treatment to ensure water quality and prevent the proliferation of cyanobacteria/microalgae. However, blooms are frequent, and dealing with them represents a great challenge for these companies, especially during the seasons of the year when there is an increase in temperature, intensification of solar radiation, and changes in the rainfall regime that favor the development and accumulation of these blooms. Knowing this technical challenge and understanding the dynamics of cyanobacteria/microalgae blooms, CyanoChem Environmental Solutions has invested in technology and innovation aimed at sustainable practices that minimize the impacts caused by eutrophication from a green economy perspective. Our solution consists of collecting microalgae biomass from aquatic environments and using technology to transform it into agricultural inputs, food supplements, among other value-added products. The exploitation of microalgae by-products is already a reality in the international market in the food, pharmaceutical and agro-industrial sectors. However, the use of the biomass of these microorganisms is practically neglected in the Brazilian scenario. Our proposal is to demonstrate the technical feasibility through strategic research and method improvements to (i) collect microalgae biomass from eutrophic environments, (ii) identify compounds with biotechnological potential, (iii) improve techniques for the selection of bioactive substances of high commercial value (macro and micronutrients) for soils, plants and animal feed and to assess the quality and safety of biomass as a raw material for the development of bioproducts. Our P&D project is in harmony with at least 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Brazil supported by the United Nations (UN), namely SDGs 3, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14. In addition, microalgae biomass captures carbon from the atmosphere and therefore our activities are also related to clean energy and possible use as a carbon credit. (AU)

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