Welcome to the Biorefinery Research Group
Food Research Department
Faculty of Chemistry Sciences
Autonomous University of Coahuila
The conversion of biomass into high added-value compounds and bioenergy (advanced biofuels) is essential in order to sustain our present and future. The term ‘‘Biorefinery’’ of 2nd and 3rd generation refers to the biomass conversion from agroindustrial waste (lignocellulosic material) and aquatic (micro and macro – algae) biomass as feedstock through the integration of clean processes.
The biorefinery concept emergence with the necessity of identifies the most promising products, considering environmental and economic aspects. Therefore, this philosophy that integrates processes and technologies for biomass conversion demands efficient utilization of all components in terms of sustainability and circular bioeconomy.
The Biorefinery Group is active in various aspects of this concept and processing using lignocellulosic, micro and macro – algae biomass as feedstock.
Our current research falls into four main categories:
1) Intensification of hydrothermal processing at different scale levels from bench to pilot scale reactors (autohydrolysis , steam explosion, liquid hot water (LHW), high pressure technology using subcritical and supercritical water ) for biomass fractionation and extraction of the main components of lignocellulosic, micro and macro – algae biomass.
In our research group, the design and operation of hydrothermal reactors have been developed several years at different scale levels. The engineering aspects of hydrothermal reactors are in three main stages: 1) The conceptual engineering design; 2) Basic engineering design; 3) The detailed engineering design. The instrumentation and process control are also considered in our hydrothermal reactor designs.
2) Extraction, optimization process, chemical characterization and applications of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, fucoidan, carrageenan, alginate, laminarin, galactan and production of high added-value compounds as xylooligosaccharides, fucoxanthin, mannitol, phycocyanin, nanocrystalline cellulose with focus on the valorization of these biomasses in the production of commodity and specialty chemicals and biochemicals and application in different areas such as food technology, bioenergy and biomaterials.
3) Bioprocess engineering and design in the biorefinery group is based at small scale must be translated to other different scale levels. Research in this area has focused on new process configurations for enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic and aquatic biomass, fermentations strategy at high solid loading, microalgae cultivation in the production of high added value compounds (lipids, proteins, carbohydrates) as well as on development of mathematical models for both descriptive and predictive purposes, and bioreactor design for hydrolytic enzymes production, biofuels production such as bioethanol and lactic acid.
4) Micro-algal biomass. Our interest in this area centre on the design of cultivation systems and the use of micro-algal biomass for biofuels production and bio-based products in terms of biorefinery.
We invite you to explore the pages of this web site and see the different activities that this Biorefinery Research Group is developing in the Food Research Department, Faculty of Chemistry Sciences at the Autonomous University of Coahuila in order to find new alternatives in the concept of biorefinery and circular bioeconomy.
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