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Fractionation of high added value compounds from microalgae in the context of sustainable biorefinery


Nowadays there is a worldwide increasing demand for the renewable chemicals intermediates. In Brazil, the federal government launched the "Development and Innovation Plan of Chemical Industry" (PADIQ in Portuguese, funding estimated in R$ 2.2 billions), a joint initiative from BNDES and Finep for the funding of projects that accomplish technical development and investment in manufacture of chemicals intermediates, featured by the green ones. The products extracted form renewable raw materials are biologically more effective and safety in animal and human nutrition than those manufactured from petroleum. In countries where the know-how of sustainable technologies is well established, protocol for total use of biomass (non-residue production and CO2 mitigation) are developed in order to manufacture chemical intermediates of commercial interest. To reach these aims, the Supercritical Fluid Extraction technology by using CO2 as solvent (SFE-CO2) allows to surpass all the problems found in commercial and rudimentary techniques (e.g., organic solvent use), such as purification of the extracts, time of processing, energy expenditure, reagents, waste deposition, low added value (due to the low quality and food security) etc. Although these benefits are known, the worldwide use of SFE-CO2 in industrial processes is beneath its technological capability, specially because it is not applied in a biorefinery context, i.e., the total use of biomass to obtain products and co-products of high and medium added value, plus sub products (residual biomass) that can have added value by biosynthetic routes. Apart this scope, this technology has high implementation and operation costs. BIOATIVOS NATURAIS constantly has overcome challenges and become viable the SFE-CO2 biorefinering of thirteen biomass, e.g., agro industrial residues (grape) and clove. The next target of the company is bio-refining biomass of microalgae Dunaliella salina, the main objective of this project. Besides having the experience to lead researches at this scope, the company has the know how of biomass use with this microalgae in photo bioreactor, achieved during research funded by PIPE-FAPESP phase 1. Specifically, the project aims is to define protocols for (1) carotenoids extraction, i.e., high added value; (2) fat acid extraction, i.e., medium added value; and (3) screening of products in the residual biomass. This project will allow of obtain data for the technology confirmation and to reduce the risks for the demonstrate plant implementation, besides the identification of new bottlenecks. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Biorefinery will convert renewable biomass into green intermediate chemicals 
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