Once the technological development of a clean and renewable energy matrix has become strategic for Brazil, the concept of biorefinery has emerged as an industry focused on the production of biofuels. Particularly for biochemical synthesis of second generation ethanol (E2G), cellulolytic enzymes are required, which can be produced in-house by solid state fermentation (SSF), a bioprocess that uses biorefinery byproducts as substrates, which contributes to increasing the viability of E2G production. However, there are still no SSF equipment available in the market, a concern whose solution depends on engineering studies, focusing on bioreactors and upstream and downstream operations. In this context, this Scientific Initiation Project (IC) is proposed integrated to the Regular Research Grant (APR) FAPESP Proc. 2018 / 00996-2, which deals with the development of a SSF packed bed bioreactor operated in pseudo-continuous mode. In order to automate the solid-liquid extraction operation, the first downstream stage to which each module removed from the bioreactor will have to be submitted, the objective of the present Project of IC is to develop a system of extraction of the enzymes secreted into the medium by making water to circulate through the bed cultivated in a cylindrical module identical to that of the bioreactor under development in the abovementioned APR. The case study will be the cultivation of the fungus Myceliophthora thermophila on a substrate composed of sugarcane bagasse and wheat bran (7:3 m/m), packed in a module allocated in between inlet and outlet couplings. At the end of the time of cultivation, the percolation of air will be replaced by the percolation of water, which will be circulated with the help of a pump. As factors, water volume by substrate mass, water flow and circulation time will be tested. The study is unprecedented and may complement a possible patent of the APR bioreactor.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: