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Development of eco-friendly technologies for the hydrolysis of biomass and residues of cellulose pulp and paper industry

Grant number: 18/07522-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2019 - December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Cooperation agreement: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
Principal Investigator:Maria de Lourdes Teixeira de Moraes Polizeli
Grantee:Maria de Lourdes Teixeira de Moraes Polizeli
Principal investigator abroad: José António Couto Teixeira
Institution abroad: Universidade do Minho (UMinho), Portugal
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Ana Sílvia de Almeida Scarcella ; Thiago Machado Pasin
Associated scholarship(s):20/00081-4 - Development of strategies for immobilization and co-immobilization of enzymes involved in biomass degradation, BP.PD
19/22737-1 - Development of strategies for immobilization and co-immobilization of enzymes involved in biomass degradation, BP.PD


Brazil is the country with the highest biodiversity in the world. The microbiota present in different Brazilian biomes remains almost unknown and minimally studied, representing great potential for discovery, application in scientific research and industrial activities. Considering Brazil's great biodiversity, in 2010 the National Biodiversity Research System (SISBIOTA-Brazil) started isolating fungi from all Brazilian biomes, increasing the potential of obtaining different enzymes with biotechnological and industrial interests. Portugal and Brazil represent a large consumer market and producer of several compounds, but when it comes to enzymes, both countries still having a little expression. In the last 30 years it has been an huge increase in interest and research of enzymes that degrade lignocellulosic compounds, mainly due to waste surplus, for example, of the agro-industries, which generates tons of waste daily, which often become a problem of environment pollution. Therefore, it is necessary to maximize the use of organic matter, reducing the generation of waste and obtaining products with high added value. The lignocellulosic material consists mainly of three different types of compounds: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are associated to each other and in different proportions depending on the vegetable. The enzymatic conversion has been a method that is gaining prominence among the technology to convert lignocellulosic biomass into compounds with high added value. This process has mainly used xylanases, cellulases and ligninases. In this context, the present project has as an objective the evaluation of different eco-friendly technologies to pre-treat the agro-industrial/forest residues (such as residues from the pulp and paper industry: paper sludge and eucalyptus bark) aiming to facilitate the access of the fungal enzymes to the structural components. For this the physical-chemical pretreatments will be prioritized: ohmic heating and autohydrolysis, for the extraction of compounds derived from hemicellulose. At the same time, will be performed the screening of the filamentous fungi obtained in the SISBIOTA project using the residues from rice, coffee, beer, beans, maize and paper industries as inducer source. The enzymes produced will be characterized regarding their physicochemical parameters and immobilized in different substrates, aiming an improvement of the enzymatic hydrolysis of these residues. After that, an enzyme cocktail will be designed to be applied in the biological pre-treatment (enzymatic) of the lignocellulosic components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin), aiming to generate high-value products. The products obtained will be explored in the production of compounds with industrial interest, such as xylooligosaccharides, bioethanol and antioxidant/antimicrobial compounds. (AU)