Plant biorefinery: chemistry and technology of osidic structures
Center of excellence of the Walloon Region to support the sector of the biorefinery in Wallonia
2008-2013 | 7 Phd | € 5.000.000
The TECHNOSE program aims at the development of a recognised excellence center dedicated to bio-refinery, especially through the valorisation of lignocellulosic materials. The concept of bio-refinery using renewable raw material is considered as a promising alternative to petrochemistry, with two purposes: (1) replacing petroleum as energy resource, and (2) providing chemical products issued from biomass. For instance, concerning the lignocellulosic products, in parallel to the sugar fermentation, the hydrolysates (carbohydrates) can be transformed to value added products (such as surfactants, biodegradable polymers, phytopharmaceutical products,…) thanks to efficient conversions.
In addition to research activities, this project will also lead to development and transfer activities to industrial uses, training actions and set up of mobilizing projects.
The objective is consequently to crystallise actions to make Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech a centre of excellence in vegetal bio-refinery.
The TECHNOSE program is divided in three axes.
- The first axis concerns the development of processes and hydrolysis products from lignocellulosic materials. First steps aims to develop and optimize the substrate pretreatments and to integrate non cellulosic components (hemicelluloses, lignins, pectins) in reactive schemes. Valuable compounds will be extracted and characterized.
- The second axis relates to the valorisation of hydrolysates through their chemical and/or enzymatical modification. The modification and functionalisation of carbohydrates, as well as their hydrophobisation, will be studied simultaneously. Biochemical treatments of lignin and the coupling with sugars will also be studied. Identification tools (essentially NMR) is another purpose, which is essential for the characterisation of the molecule synthesized.
- The third axis focuses on the evaluation of the properties of the developed products, especially on their surface active and membrane properties. These studies must identify the most promising products for further development steps.