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Green Chemistry and Biofinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Chemical Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 15212

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. CICECO, Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2. CECOLAB - Collaborative Laboratory Towards Circular Economy, R. Nossa Senhora da Conceição, 3405-155 Oliveira do Hospital, Portugal
Interests: Research and development of green and sustainable technologies for the valorisation of different types of biomass using alternative solvents (e.g., ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents, supercritical carbon dioxide, among others) towards the integration in biorefineries.
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the utmost challenges of society is to move from a non-renewable and polluting fossil-based economy to a more sustainable model of economic development. To cover such a demand, circular economy and bioeconomy have been implemented to encourage the use and reuse of renewable resources, such as biomass feedstocks. However, conventional biomass processing and converting technologies still face some bottlenecks, such as lack of efficiency and selectivity, difficult downstreaming, undesired side reactions and equipment corrosion, which compromises full and economical biomass valorisation. Therefore, a biorefinery concept that predicts the utilization of biomass in different processing platforms towards the production of energy, fuels, materials and chemicals must be employed analogous to a petroleum refinery. In addition, this activity must also be guided by green chemistry principles, which contemplate good practises in chemistry processing to achieve low impacts on the environment and public health. Otherwise, no significant benefit is gained from biomass in contrast to non-renewable feedstocks.

In this context, this Special Issue, entitled as “Green Chemistry and Biorefinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation” aims at gathering cutting-edge studies and innovative technologies on the entire biomass processing value chain assisted by green chemistry tools (e.g., ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents, supercritical fluids, green catalysts and reagents) with potential to be integrated into biorefinery platforms. Authors are encouraged to submit their contributions in different hot topics as follows:

  • Extraction of value-added compounds from biomass using green technologies;
  • Application of green solvents on biomass pre-treatment and fractionation;
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass components in green solvents;
  • Lignin depolymerization into aromatics through the application of green catalysts and solvents;
  • Catalytic conversion of sugars into platform chemicals (aromatics, organic acids, furans, etc.) with green approaches;
  • Cellulose and lignin application in novel materials using green chemistry approaches;
  • Fermentation of sugar-based streams into biofuels and biochemicals;
  • Conversion of fat-based biomass or oil streams assisted by green catalysts towards the production of biodiesel and jet fuels;
  • Extraction and valorisation of protein-based streams with green solvents and catalysts;
  • Downstream processing focused on the recycling of green solvents and catalysts as well as on the purification of produced biofuels, biomaterials and biochemicals.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sustainable Chemistry.

Dr. André M. Da Costa Lopes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • green solvents
  • green catalysts
  • biorefinery
  • biomass pretreatment and fractionation
  • catalytic conversion
  • depolymerization
  • cellulose
  • hemicellulose
  • lignin
  • biofuels
  • biomaterials
  • platform chemicals
  • fermentation
  • downstream processing
  • solvent and catalyst recycling
  • purification methods

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2473 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Properties of Choline Chloride-Based Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NaDES) and Their Applicability for Extracting Oil Palm Flavonoids
by Mohamad Shazeli Che Zain, Jen Xen Yeoh, Soo Yee Lee and Khozirah Shaari
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 12981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132312981 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4769
Abstract
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) leaf (OPL) is abundantly generated from oil palm plantations as biomass that is rich in bioactive metabolites, primarily flavonoids. Six natural deep eutectic solvents (NaDES) were synthesized using a direct heating technique from different combinations of choline [...] Read more.
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) leaf (OPL) is abundantly generated from oil palm plantations as biomass that is rich in bioactive metabolites, primarily flavonoids. Six natural deep eutectic solvents (NaDES) were synthesized using a direct heating technique from different combinations of choline chloride with 1,2-propanediol (PD), 1,4-butanediol (BD), glycerol (GLY), glucose (GLU), maltose (MAL) and lactic acid (LA). The synthesized NaDES were subjected to physicochemical and biological evaluations comprising physical appearance, density, water activity, viscosity, polarity, thermal behaviors, spectroscopic analysis, cytotoxicity, radical scavenging activities and solubility tests. Compared to aqueous methanol, the synthesized NaDES, which appeared as a slightly to moderately viscous transparent liquid, showed favorable physicochemical properties as extraction solvents with a low cytotoxicity profile on cultured fibroblast cells. Further, the NaDES obtained from the choline chloride:lactic acid (LA) combination showed high free radical scavenging characteristics. Hydrogen bonding interactions were shown to play a significant role in the formation of the NaDES. Further, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography ultraviolet/photodiode array (UHPLC-UV/PDA) analysis revealed that the NaDES from the choline chloride:glycerol (GLY) combination had comparable efficiencies with aqueous methanol regarding extracting flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin derivatives) from OPLs. The results of the present study suggested that the tailor-made NaDES were not only easy-to-use, stable and safe solvents but also suitable for extracting bioactive phytochemical compounds. The study highlighted their potential as an alternative green technology for applications in oil palm biomass utilization programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and Biofinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation)
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13 pages, 2145 KiB  
Article
Pressurized Liquid Extraction of Polyphenols and Anthocyanins from Saffron Processing Waste with Aqueous Organic Acid Solutions: Comparison with Stirred-Tank and Ultrasound-Assisted Techniques
by Vasileios M. Pappas, Vassilis Athanasiadis, Dimitrios Palaiogiannis, Konstantina Poulianiti, Eleni Bozinou, Stavros I. Lalas and Dimitris P. Makris
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12578; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212578 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2534
Abstract
Fοllow up with our previous study on the extraction of saffron processing waste polyphenols using deep eutectic solvents, the objective of this examination was a comparative evaluation of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), stirred-tank extraction (STE) and stirred-tank extraction with ultrasonication pretreatment (STE/UP) with [...] Read more.
Fοllow up with our previous study on the extraction of saffron processing waste polyphenols using deep eutectic solvents, the objective of this examination was a comparative evaluation of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), stirred-tank extraction (STE) and stirred-tank extraction with ultrasonication pretreatment (STE/UP) with respect to the recovery of pigments and antioxidant polyphenols from saffron processing waste. Aqueous solutions of citric and lactic acids at two different concentrations were used as green solvents. The extracts obtained under the specified conditions were analyzed for total pigment and total polyphenol yields as well as for their ferric-reducing power and antiradical activity. Furthermore, each produced extract was analyzed with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry to profile its analytical polyphenolic composition. In all cases, PLE provided inferior results compared to the two other techniques, producing extracts with lower polyphenolic concentration and weaker antioxidant properties. On the other hand, no specific pattern was detected concerning the effect of ultrasonication, acid type and acid concentration. Hierarchical cluster analysis indicated that stirred-tank extraction with 1% (w/v) lactic acid and ultrasonication pretreatment might be the highest-performing combination, providing extracts with increased polyphenol and pigment concentration; however, it also enhanced antioxidant activity. It was also concluded that the significantly shorter extraction time when using PLE might be an important element in further optimizing the process, buttressing the use of this technique for the establishment of innovative and sustainable-by-design extraction methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and Biofinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation)
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13 pages, 2482 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Spent Coffee by Caffeine Extraction Using Aqueous Solutions of Cholinium-Based Ionic Liquids
by Ana M. Ferreira, Hugo M. D. Gomes, João A. P. Coutinho and Mara G. Freire
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137509 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3692
Abstract
Spent coffee grounds (SCGs) are a waste product with no relevant commercial value. However, SCGs are rich in extractable compounds with biological activity. To add value to this coffee byproduct, water and aqueous solutions of cholinium-based ionic liquids (ILs) were studied to extract [...] Read more.
Spent coffee grounds (SCGs) are a waste product with no relevant commercial value. However, SCGs are rich in extractable compounds with biological activity. To add value to this coffee byproduct, water and aqueous solutions of cholinium-based ionic liquids (ILs) were studied to extract caffeine from SCGs. In general, all IL aqueous solutions lead to higher extraction efficiencies of caffeine than pure water, with aqueous solutions of cholinium bicarbonate being the most efficient. A factorial planning was applied to optimize operational conditions. Aqueous solutions of cholinium bicarbonate, at a temperature of 80 °C for 30 min of extraction, a biomass–solvent weight ratio of 0.05 and at an IL concentration of 1.5 M, made it possible to extract 3.29 wt% of caffeine (against 1.50 wt% obtained at the best conditions obtained with pure water). Furthermore, to improve the sustainability of the process, the same IL aqueous solution was consecutively applied to extract caffeine from six samples of fresh biomass, where an increase in the extraction yield from 3.29 to 13.10 wt% was achieved. Finally, the cholinium bicarbonate was converted to cholinium chloride by titration with hydrochloric acid envisioning the direct application of the IL-caffeine extract in food, cosmetic and nutraceutical products. The results obtained prove that aqueous solutions of cholinium-based ILs are improved solvents for the extraction of caffeine from SCGs, paving the way for their use in the valorization of other waste rich in high-value compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and Biofinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation)
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15 pages, 14041 KiB  
Article
Fast and Efficient Method to Evaluate the Potential of Eutectic Solvents to Dissolve Lignocellulosic Components
by Filipe H. B. Sosa, Rafael M. Dias, André M. da Costa Lopes, João A. P. Coutinho and Mariana C. da Costa
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083358 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3098
Abstract
The application of eutectic solvents (ESs) in lignocellulosic biomass fractionation has been demonstrated as a promising approach to accomplish efficient and environmentally friendly biomass valorization. In general, ESs are a combination of two components, a hydrogen-bonding donor and a hydrogen-bonding acceptor, in which [...] Read more.
The application of eutectic solvents (ESs) in lignocellulosic biomass fractionation has been demonstrated as a promising approach to accomplish efficient and environmentally friendly biomass valorization. In general, ESs are a combination of two components, a hydrogen-bonding donor and a hydrogen-bonding acceptor, in which the melting point of the mixture is lower than that of the individual components. However, there are plenty of possible combinations to form ESs with the potential to apply in biomass processing. Therefore, the development of fast and effective screening methods to find combinations capable to dissolve the main biomass components—namely cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin—is highly required. An accurate and simple technique based on optical microscopy with or without polarized lenses was used in this study to quickly screen and monitor the dissolution of cellulose, xylose (a monomer of hemicelluloses), and lignin in several ESs. The dissolution of these solutes were investigated in different choline-chloride-based ESs (ChCl:UREA, ChCl:PROP, ChCl:EtGLY, ChCl:OXA, ChCl:GLY, ChCl:LAC). Small amounts of solute and solvent with temperature control were applied and the dissolution process was monitored in real time. The results obtained in this study showed that cellulose was insoluble in these ESs, while lignin and xylose were progressively dissolved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and Biofinery Concepts on Biomass Valorisation)
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