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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Selective extraction of high value molecules from forest products processing residues in the speciality chemicals sector

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.01.02  Biotechnical sciences  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Wood technology 

Code Science Field
T460  Technological sciences  Wood, pulp and paper technology 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
Keywords
Biorefinery, polyphenols, debarking water, forest residues, magnetic beads, monolithic column separation, health
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  35460  PhD Anže Abram  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  104 
2.  55064  Lara Bolčina  Pharmacy  Researcher  2020 - 2022  12 
3.  23598  PhD Tomaž Bratkovič  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  242 
4.  51616  PhD Balazs David  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2022  68 
5.  51617  PhD Laszlo Hajdu  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2019 - 2022  40 
6.  54846  PhD Niki Hrovatin  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2022  20 
7.  33403  PhD Petra Jenuš Belec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  157 
8.  31282  PhD Marko Kete  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  81 
9.  26495  PhD Nina Kočevar Glavač  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  239 
10.  15460  PhD Samo Kreft  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  781 
11.  31274  PhD Andreja Kutnar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Head  2019 - 2022  403 
12.  25096  PhD Mojca Lunder  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  260 
13.  30883  PhD Ana Miklavčič Višnjevec  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2022  112 
14.  34448  PhD Kelly Peeters  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2019 - 2022  53 
15.  33152  Tjaša Prevc  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 - 2022  18 
16.  29603  PhD Matjaž Ravnikar  Pharmacy  Researcher  2019 - 2022  71 
17.  50366  PhD Anna Malgorzata Sandak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  285 
18.  50461  PhD Jakub Michal Sandak  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  259 
19.  52406  PhD Erwin Andreas M Schau  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  38 
20.  38064  PhD Matthew John Schwarzkopf  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  102 
21.  52517  MSc Vesna Starman  Educational studies  Researcher  2020 - 2022  24 
22.  28484  PhD Dejan Suban  Animal production  Researcher  2019 - 2020  17 
23.  07849  PhD Borut Štrukelj  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  1,129 
24.  19043  PhD Maja Zupančič Justin  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2019 - 2022  359 
Organisations (5)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  3770  InnoRenew CoE Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence  Izola  7233817000  2,835 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,961 
3.  0787  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy  Ljubljana  1626973  17,415 
4.  1669  University of Primorska, Andrej Marušič Insitute  Koper  1810014007  10,894 
5.  3269  ARHEL projecting and engineering Ltd.  Ljubljana  1763881  406 
Abstract
Forest-based industries, especially pulp and paper industries, produce huge quantities of bark during primary processing activities. In 2017 alone, the European pulp and paper industry used close to 149 million cubic meters of wood. The bark reduces the quality of wood products and is removed and mainly burned for energy production. In pulp and paper industries, a wet debarking process is used for bark removal producing toxic debarking water as a by-product. For each cubic meter of wood, up to 2 m3 of water is used for debarking. 20-40% of the dry weight of the bark that is removed contains lipophilic and hydrophilic extractives which must be treated in a costly process due to their toxicity. However, these industrial stream residues contain bioactive compounds with a wide range of potential high-value applications in the human healthcare and functional foods sectors. Of these compounds, polyphenols are present in large amounts and are of commercial interest. Many polyphenols are shown to have antioxidative activity, a free-radical scavenging capacity, and are used in research programs for coronary heart disease prevention, anticancer activity, or anti–HIV functions. These biochemicals are also a potential source of numerous product innovations and can act as alternatives to oil-based chemicals. Finding methods to remove large amounts of these extractives is of great environmental importance but also presents an economic opportunity. This project will develop a methodology for accessing these valuable polyphenols from wet and dry debarking processes, adding value to toxic waste materials. The project is at a basic research level, with the potential to be used at an industrial and commercial level. A sustainable and repeatable process by the use of functionalised magnetic particles will be developed for the collection of polyphenols from residue streams followed by a monolith-based separation. To more fully understand the influence of key processing parameters on polyphenol extraction efficiency and accuracy in targeting specific types, a comparison study and modelling (chemometrics combined with in-line spectroscopic analysis) will be made by extracting polyphenols under various conditions. Life cycle analysis (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) will assess the environmental and economic viability of the developed process to determine if there is truly a benefit to extracting polyphenols from wet or dry debarking residues versus the conventional method of treating the polluted debarking water and burning dry materials. The results from this project have the potential to be greatly beneficial to Slovene and European (through IPR management) forest-based industries using wet and dry debarking processes and their associated waste.
Significance for science
It is expected that the project will bring the progress beyond the state of the art in different scientific fields: New databases Databases with improved information on the extracted compounds from debarking water, their characteristics and potential uses will be generated in WP3. It will serve as a reference and a starting point for further exploration in organic chemistry, environmental science, pharmacy, food science, and medicine. Combined with the databases, compiled in WP2 on the market potential of polyphenols, it will be a powerful tool for research in economics of naturally occurring renewable chemicals. Based on the European principles of open science, this basic project will strive to share its results (unless some results will be identified as commercially exploitable in the very near future) openly, in open-access journals, and in as many international knowledge sharing fora as possible. Advanced knowledge in data modelling The new knowledge and data obtained by multivariate data analysis (MDA) and chemometrics will open the path for engineers to further develop and automatize technologies for preparation and separation of (poly)phenolic compounds from various sources. Moreover, it will open the door for basic plant ecology and physiology studies (the relationship between quantity and quality of phenolic species in industrial residue streams and ecological parameters of growth stands of plant materials, which were the source of the particular biomass batch). With these studies an indirect correlation between the influence of ecological parameters and the plant physiology (secondary metabolism, in which phenolic substances are produced) can be obtained. Advancement in magnetic bead and separation technology The research on magnetic bead removal and separation and purification techniques will give an insight into the nature and dynamics of the interaction between (poly)phenolic substances and other materials (i.e., functionalised metal-based magnetic beads and methacrylate-based monolithic columns), thereby opening countless possibilities for further research in various fields of material science (e.g., phenolics-based adhesives rheology and curing/adhesion processes, bioplastics research, basic processes in organic synthesis). New knowledge will be gained on the nature, efficiency, and dynamics of polyphenolic interactions, leading towards new discoveries in basic chemistry. This might lead to research of new biobased coatings (based on phenolics) and other materials from the side streams of industries. The obtained phenolics may lead to research in organic chemistry to start synthesis of more complicated compounds from these starting materials, reducing the need for materials from fossil-based sources. Improvement of scientific and practical tools for LCA and LCC analysis These improvements will bring about a much more detailed understanding of environmental impacts of the wood-processing industry in general, and pulp production in particular. Thereby, further possibilities will open for substantial improvements in environmental science.
Significance for the country
It is expected that the project will bring the progress beyond the state of the art in different scientific fields: New databases Databases with improved information on the extracted compounds from debarking water, their characteristics and potential uses will be generated in WP3. It will serve as a reference and a starting point for further exploration in organic chemistry, environmental science, pharmacy, food science, and medicine. Combined with the databases, compiled in WP2 on the market potential of polyphenols, it will be a powerful tool for research in economics of naturally occurring renewable chemicals. Based on the European principles of open science, this basic project will strive to share its results (unless some results will be identified as commercially exploitable in the very near future) openly, in open-access journals, and in as many international knowledge sharing fora as possible. Advanced knowledge in data modelling The new knowledge and data obtained by multivariate data analysis (MDA) and chemometrics will open the path for engineers to further develop and automatize technologies for preparation and separation of (poly)phenolic compounds from various sources. Moreover, it will open the door for basic plant ecology and physiology studies (the relationship between quantity and quality of phenolic species in industrial residue streams and ecological parameters of growth stands of plant materials, which were the source of the particular biomass batch). With these studies an indirect correlation between the influence of ecological parameters and the plant physiology (secondary metabolism, in which phenolic substances are produced) can be obtained. Advancement in magnetic bead and separation technology The research on magnetic bead removal and separation and purification techniques will give an insight into the nature and dynamics of the interaction between (poly)phenolic substances and other materials (i.e., functionalised metal-based magnetic beads and methacrylate-based monolithic columns), thereby opening countless possibilities for further research in various fields of material science (e.g., phenolics-based adhesives rheology and curing/adhesion processes, bioplastics research, basic processes in organic synthesis). New knowledge will be gained on the nature, efficiency, and dynamics of polyphenolic interactions, leading towards new discoveries in basic chemistry. This might lead to research of new biobased coatings (based on phenolics) and other materials from the side streams of industries. The obtained phenolics may lead to research in organic chemistry to start synthesis of more complicated compounds from these starting materials, reducing the need for materials from fossil-based sources. Improvement of scientific and practical tools for LCA and LCC analysis These improvements will bring about a much more detailed understanding of environmental impacts of the wood-processing industry in general, and pulp production in particular. Thereby, further possibilities will open for substantial improvements in environmental science.
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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