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Waste valorization and technological innovation in the agro-industrial and chitin supply chains by computational models

Grant number: 22/02809-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Initial Project Research Grant
Duration: February 01, 2023 - January 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Moisés Teles dos Santos
Grantee:Moisés Teles dos Santos
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Bruno Faccini Santoro ; Omar José Guerra Fernández
Associated scholarship(s):23/07775-0 - Conceptual design of a shell biorefinery for Aquaculture wastes valorization, BP.DR
23/05420-0 - A DataBase Design for Agrowastes Valorization in Biorefineries, BP.IC


Brazil has a tradition in several agro-industrial sectors, notably the production of orange juice, soybeans, and coffee beans. Supply chains in these sectors generate waste with potential to be transformed in chemical products and energy by integrated biorefineries. On the other hand, chitin is the second most abundant biopolymer in nature, after cellulose. It is found for instance on wastes of shrimp farming, that may be used to produce chitosan and further conversion to other products of commercial interest, defining the concept of chitin biorefinery. In this context, the valorization of waste generated by these sectors may contribute to the minimization of environmental damage, to boost circular economy, and to increase the economic performance of those sectors and social development in rural communities associated with them. However, it is necessary that the whole supply chain to be taken into account in order to identify implied costs and opportunities. Following this premise, the objective of this project is to adapt several methodologies of process systems engineering, traditionally used in chemical industry, such as mathematical modeling, computational simulation, and optimization of processes and supply chain, to applications in the agro-industrial sector. The main points of the project are: (i) The creation of a research center in the Chemical Engineering Department of the Universidade de São Paulo (EPAgro - Process Engineering for the agro-industry supply chain), aimed at the formation of students, professors and researchers interested in studying processes related to agro-industry supply chains and (ii) To conceptually develop biorefineries integrated to the sectors of (a) citrus; (b) soybeans; (c) coffee beans; (d) shrimp farming. (AU)

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