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Saccharification of the sugarcane bagasse with dilute sulfuric acid and enzymes for the production of lignocellulosic ethanol

Grant number: 14/00774-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2014 - May 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Walter de Carvalho
Grantee:Walter de Carvalho
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This proposal intends to raise funds that will facilitate fixing/adaptation of laboratorial equipments as well as purchasing of supplies that will provide better conditions for the development of two doctoral projects that, in turn, are continuing a first study financed by FAPESP through an individual research aid. In the first, the ultimate goal consists in optimizing the production of ethanol from sugargane by using dilute H2SO4 to pretreat the material, fungal enzymes to hydrolyse the polysaccharides, and yeasts to ferment the generated hydrolysates; in the second, in evaluating the conversion of the sugarcane bagasse polysaccharides into ethanol, with a focus on integration between pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation. As scientific and technological contributions, it is proposed to answer the questions described in the body of the project, and to contribute with the Engineering College of Lorena in continuing the legacy of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of Lorena in its primary mission to prepare human resources in strategic areas for the country. Regarding the challenge to be overcome, it is intended to adequately understand the operations involved in the conversion of the sugarcane bagasse into ethanol (pretreatment, saccharification and fermentation), in order to propose, in a rational way, strategies to overcome the bottlenecks that continue delaying the implementation of the technology on an industrial scale; due to high costs and uncertainty levels. The study is already under development at the Department of Biotechnology of the Engineering College of Lorena, especially in the Laboratory of Microbiology and Biochemistry; the students involved, Celso Santi Junior and Paula Julião Esteves, also already have scholarships granted by CAPES. So that, a priori, one must, at this time, raise funds for the purchase of supplies and equipment repair. (AU)