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Catalytic upstream biorefining of sugarcane bagasse for the production of biofuels and chemicals

Grant number: 16/50423-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: December 08, 2018 - August 07, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Convênio/Acordo: Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil
Principal Investigator:Antonio Aprigio da Silva Curvelo
Grantee:Antonio Aprigio da Silva Curvelo
Visiting researcher: Roberto Rinaldi Sobrinho
Visiting researcher institution: Imperial College London, England
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Currently available technologies for processing lignocellulose biomass require multiples stages, show very limited degree of control of the intermediate reactivity and generate a significant amount of wastes (e.g. solid lignin and biocharcoals), which typically are combusted to remediate the problem of waste generation. Therefore, none of these processes can considered optimized in terms of efficient use of the resources. Consequently, at this moment there is not a clear leading technology for the generation of advanced biofuels in the broad context of a bio refinery for production of biofuels and value added chemicals. In this context, catalytic upstream of lignocellulose constitutes a substantial breakthrough in the utilization of renewable resources far beyond current state-of-the-art of biofuel technologies, enabling the chain of processes to operate in a wholly sustainable and cost-effective manner. The introduction of catalytic transfer hydrogenation into the solvolytic isolation of lignin from the lignocellulosic matrix consists in one of the most recent breakthroughs in the field for three main reasons. The first is related to the chemical nature of the lignin stream that comprises aminophenol’s (up to 50%) and low molecular weight oligomer lignin structures. The second is the ease of further processing the lignin stream under conditions of lower severity, i.e. T< 220 °C (Lignin oil stream) vs. T> 300°C (technical lignin’s). The third reason is the high degree of delignification achieved by this method (up to 95 %), which enables the utilization of the holocellulose for bioethanol production among other possible uses. The Primary Objective of the collaboration pursued under the visit of Dr. Roberto Rinaldi (Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London) will be to support the research and innovation capacity of Brazil in the field of catalytic biorefining of sugarcane bagasse, for their long-term sustainable growth. This will be achieved through scientific collaboration between the laboratories of Green Chemistry at CTBE and the Tomorrow's Chemical Technologies Lab at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London. To start this collaboration, we plan to host Dr. Rinaldi at CTBE for three periods of 1-month between 2017 and 2018. These visits will promote increased research and innovation exchange and collaboration to seed a sustainable long-term partnership to be consolidated by a to-conceive Thematic Project in the field of Heterogeneous Catalysis for Fractionation/Pulping of Lignocellulosic Biomass. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LEAL, GLAUCO F.; LIMA, SERGIO; GRACA, INES; CARRER, HELOISE; BARRETT, DEAN H.; TEIXEIRA-NETO, ERICO; CURVELO, ANTONIO APRIGIO S.; RODELLA, CRISTIANE B.; RINALDI, ROBERTO. Design of Nickel Supported on Water-Tolerant Nb2O5 Catalysts for the Hydrotreating of Lignin Streams Obtained from Lignin-First Biorefining. ISCIENCE, v. 15, p. 467+, . (16/50423-3)

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