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Terpenes evaluation for sugarcane wax extraction

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Renata Maria Araújo de Oliveira
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Defense date:
Advisor: Patricia Fazzio Martins Martinez

Lipid materials extraction, such as waxes, is usually performed using hexane as the extracting solvent. However, this solvent is linked to the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), risk of explosion, toxicity and air pollution. Concerns about ensuring the sustainable development of mankind have led to the replacement of toxic solvents from petroleum by those obtained from renewable, less toxic and sustainable sources, such as terpenic solvents. Therefore, in this work, the extraction of wax from sugarcane peels using the terpenes pinene and limonene was studied. This wax contains a large amount of octacosanol, the main compound of Policosanol, which is a mixture of fatty alcohols with anticholesterolemic properties. The waxes were extracted in Soxhlet and subsequently purified. The extracts were chemically characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) while thermal characterization was performed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry analysis (TGA). The crude wax yields for extractions with limonene and pinene (18.0-64.4 %) showed results much higher than those of hexane (7.2-8.3 %) due to possible parallel reactions promoted by light and temperature exposure. However, after the purification process, it was observed that although hexane extracts more wax in less time (64.1-83.3 %), the terpene solvents can overcome it with when extraction times are increased (31.2-74.6 %). Analysis of octacosanol content by GC×GC showed that the extraction of this compound using hexane decreases as the extraction time increases (31.3-22.2 %) due to the co-extraction of compounds. The opposite behavior was observed for the terpene solvents (17.8-27.8 %), which extract waxes gradually and directly proportional to the extraction time. Thermal characterizations obtained by TGA and DSC showed that all the sugarcane purified waxes obtained are stable up to at least 200 °C and that these values show good thermo-oxidative resistance. Thus, it has been found that it is possible to use the terpenes limonene and pinene in the extraction of waxes, since the obtained waxes have physicochemical characteristics similar to those waxes available commercially (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/25384-1 - Evaluation of biosolvents in the extraction process of the sugar cane wax
Grantee:Patricia Fazzio Martins Martinez
Support type: Regular Research Grants