PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2177
PROJECT CODE: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2177, contract number PCE 157/ 16.02.2021
PROJECT TITLE:
Sustainable routes for carbohydrate-based biosurfactants in green reaction media
Biosurfactanți pe bază de hidrați de carbon obținuți prin căi de sinteză sustenabile în medii de reacție ecologice
ACRONYM:                              GreenBioSurfactant
PROJECT COORDINATOR:     Polytehnic University of Timişoara
PROJECT DIRECTOR:             Dr. Eng. Carmen Gabriela Boeriu
 
BUDGET:                                 1,198,032.00 RON (Public budget)
START DATE:                          15-02-2021
END DATE:                              14-02-2024

PROJECT SUMMARY:

There is continuously growing interest in the development of biodegradable, renewable, and less toxic biosurfactants. Sugar fatty acid esters (SFAEs) are carbohydrate derivatives demonstrating excellent emulsifying properties and foaming ability, which can be used in the food industry, in cosmetics, detergents, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. The aim of this project is to develop and optimise an innovative and sustainable process and solvent system for the synthesis of new glycolipids. For this reason, the biocatalytic synthesis of novel fatty esters of oligomeric sugars will be carried out in natural deep electric solvents (NADES) and the optimal solvent composition, reaction conditions, enzyme recovery possibilities and downstream processing parameters will be determined. The biobased glycolipid surfactants will be characterized in detail by several analytical techniques for structure confirmation, assessment of the physico-chemical and surfactant properties, in view of possible applications in food and other sectors.

PROJECT TEAM:

Project leader: Dr. Eng. Carmen G. Boeriu
Researchers:
Prof. Dr. Eng. Francisc Peter
Dr. Eng. Ramona Buzatu
Ș.l. Dr. Eng. Cristina Paul
Ș.l. Dr. Eng. Iulia Maria Păușescu
Ș.l. Dr. Eng. Valentin Badea
Asist. Dr. Chem. Diana Maria Dreavă
Eng. Ioan Bîtcan

Project objectives: The key objective of the project is to develop an innovative and sustainable process and solvent system for the synthesis of new sugar ester biosurfactants with possible food applications. Therefore, the project activities will be focused on two main directions: (i) reaction engineering of the biocatalytic synthesis a selected sugar ester using different NADES, to determine the optimal solvent composition, reaction conditions, enzyme recovery possibilities and downstream processing parameters; (ii) synthesis of at least three different novel biosurfactants using oligomeric sugars and fatty acid derivatives

Project phases:
Phase 1 (2021, 10 months) - Development of suitable natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) systems and obtainment of sustainable and robust biocatalysts with catalytic activity in NADES
Phase 2 (2022, 12 months) – Synthesis of fatty acid esters of carbohydrate oligomers (SFAE) and engineering of the biocatalytic reaction
Phase 3 (2023, 12 months) – Characterization of biosurfactants
Phase 4 (2024, 2 months) – Determination of biosurfactant properties of the SFAEs obtained

 

Dissemination:

1. Todea, A.; Dreavă, D.M.; Benea, I.C.; Bîtcan, I.; Peter, F.; Boeriu, C.G. Achievements and trends in biocatalytic synthesis of specialty polymers from biomass-derived monomers using lipases. Processes 2021, 9, 646. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040646

2. Buzatu, A.R.; Frissen, A. E.; van den Broek, L. A. M.; Todea, A.; Motoc, M.; Peter F.; Boeriu C. G. Biocatalytic synthesis of phenolic sugar esters. 2021. Abstract and poster presented at the 7th International Polysaccharide Conference, 11-15 October, Nantes, France

3. Boeriu, C.G., Van der Vlist, V., Aparaschivei, D.,  Frissen, A.E., Todea, A., Peter, F. Enzymatic synthesis of novel biobased aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters. 2021. Abstract and Oral Presentation presented at the 6th International Conference on Biocatalysis in Non-Conventional Media (BNCM 2021), 6-8 May 2021, Milan, Italy

Project Results:

Phase 1/2021: Development of suitable natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) systems and obtainment of sustainable and robust biocatalysts with catalytic activity in NADES

Summary of results

In the first year of the project, we have studied the preparation of a large number of binary and ternary natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) consisting of selected natural, biobased compounds. An operational protocol was developed for the preparation of NADES derived from mono- and disaccharides. The thermal properties of nine of the obtained NADES systems were determined using thermal analytical methods, such as TGA and DSC. Next studies focused on the screening and selection of biocatalysts for esterification reactions in NADES. Four most active lipases were selected from a set of thirteen commercial native lipases, based on their efficiency in the model esterification reaction between lauric acid with 1-propanol. The four most active lipases were utilized as biocatalysts for the synthesis of esters of lauric acid with glucose in various solvent systems, such as mixtures of  organic solvents and NADES. TLC, HPLC, MALDI-TOF-MS were used to monitor the progress of the reactions and to identify and characterize the products of the reactions. Sugar esters were also obtained using an commercial immobilized lipase as catalyst. The effect of reactions conditions (e.g. pressure and  stirring) on product formation was investigated. Next, the immobilization of two most efficient lipases by entrapment in sol-gel matrices was investigated. Nine catalytically-active immobilized lipase preparations were obtained using various silane precursors in different combinations. The operational stability of all 13 biocatalysts (i.e. four native and nine immobilized) was evaluated in six successive reaction  cycles; two of them showed high activity and stability in the NADES prepared in the project. Results of the project were disseminated in an scientific article (ISI) and two communications (one oral presentation and one poster) presented at two major international conferences. In conclusion, all objectives of this first phase of the project are achieved.

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