By: Dr. Franyi Sarmiento, Ph.D., Inspenet, April 5, 2022.
The University of Jaén in collaboration with the University of Technology and Economics of Budapest (Hungary) has proposed a biochemical technique that uses yeast to obtain biofuel for vehicles from olive pits.
It is about using these microorganisms to produce sweetener, an antimicrobial compound and fuel from the agri-food residues of the olive grove.
In this way, experts obtain bioproducts with a cheaper methodology, which also replace other derivatives from fossil sources. The researchers point to the food and pharmaceutical applications of other substances obtained with this method, such as xylitol -sugar substitute for diabetics- and antioxidant compounds, which can be used to develop antimicrobial products.
Scientists have developed a method that uses yeast to obtain biofuel for vehicles from olive pits. The incorporation of these microorganisms reduces the price of obtaining bioethanol, which, mixed with gasoline, serves as fuel and is more sustainable than usual.
In addition to its use in the automotive industry, the researchers point to the food and pharmaceutical applications of other substances obtained with this method, such as xylitol -a sugar substitute for diabetics- and antioxidant compounds, which can be used to develop antimicrobial products.
Currently, most of the olive grove biomass is normally discarded or burned. However, researchers from the University of Jaén propose a technique that uses two types of yeast to make the most of this residue. On the one hand, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with which they eliminate toxic compounds. On the other, Candida boidinii, to transform almost 63% of the remaining solution into xylitol. The bioproducts obtained from this process replace other resources from fossil sources.
For example, the antioxidants that the research group extracts would serve to replace the petroleum derivatives with which some moisturizing creams are made, the xylitol to the sugar in chewing gum and the bioethanol, mixed with gasoline, would be used to develop fuel for vehicles. “In addition, it is a more sustainable proposal, since the products obtained would replace derivatives of petroleum and other fossil sources,” explains Juan Miguel Romero, a researcher at the University of Jaén, to the Discover Foundation.
In the article ‘Improved xylitol production from olive stones hydrolysates by biological detoxification’ (Journal of Cleaner Production), the experts explain that they previously developed a two-step technique to obtain xylose, the solution from which xylitol is produced. In this work, they add another two treatments with which they “boost” the production of this xylitol, and also propose obtaining bioethanol and antioxidants.
Currently, the TEP-233: Chemical and Environmental Engineering group focuses its research work on the biorefinery, that is, they develop methods to transform agricultural biomass into bioproducts. Specifically, they develop alternatives to oil with raw materials of local origin such as biomass from the olive grove to produce bioplastics, sweeteners, biofuels and chemical products in a sustainable way. This work has been financed by the State Research Agency, the European Regional Development Fund (Feder) and the Ministry of Science and Innovation. It has also received support from the project TNN:16-123305 of the Hungarian National Fund for Research, Development and Innovation.
Source : https://www.energias-renovables.com/bioenergia/desarrollan-una-tecnica-para-obtener-biocombustible-del-20220406