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Understanding the mechanisms of emulsification and de-emulsification in the microbial production of biodiesel

Grant number: 12/14003-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Rosiane Lopes da Cunha
Grantee:Carolina Siqueira Franco Picone
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos (FEA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The biofuels industry has tight economic margins which demand efficient, low cost processes. The main factor which limits the microbial production of biofuels is the efficient product separation and the maintenance of microbial viability. This work aims to identify the emulsification mechanisms involved in biodiesel production in order to develop a de-emulsification process which enables an efficient product recovery and good cell retention and viability. Model systems will be prepared simulating the characteristics and composition of the fermentation broth. The effect of each emulsion phase (aqueous, lipid, gaseous and microorganism) on the emulsion formation and physical properties (i.e. structure, stability, rheological and emulsifying properties) will be studied increasing the complexity of model systems. Then, the effect of process conditions (pH, ionic strength, temperature and shear) on the physical properties of emulsion and it compounds will be determined. After the identification of the mainly stability mechanisms, a de-emulsification process will be developed based in four strategies: changing on ionic strength, pH and temperature of the emulsion and the addition of de-emulsifiers. The results will be transposed to large scale fermentation taking into account the microorganism viability and the fermentation efficiency. This project is inserted in the cooperation with Delft University (Netherlands) supported by Fapesp, which aims develop new processes for the biofuel production. (AU)

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)
FRANCO PICONE, CAROLINA SIQUEIRA; BUENO, ANDRESSA CATOZZI; MICHELON, MARIANO; CUNHA, ROSIANE LOPES. Development of a probiotic delivery system based on gelation of water-in-oil emulsions. LWT-FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, v. 86, p. 62-68, DEC 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.
HEERES, ARJAN S.; PICONE, CAROLINA S. F.; VAN DER WIELEN, LUUK A. M.; CUNHA, ROSIANE L.; CUELLAR, MARIA C. Microbial advanced biofuels production: overcoming emulsification challenges for large-scale operation. TRENDS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY, v. 32, n. 4, p. 221-229, APR 2014. Web of Science Citations: 30.

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