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Obtaining high value-added bioproducts from a by-product of the coffee production chain


Solid waste is often seen as a problem. However, current policies and strategic plans consider that if properly managed, such waste can be a source of products useful to society, such as oils and fats, lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, pigments, bioactive compounds (tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, etc.), among others. In addition to contributing to more sustainable and circular economies, these products also have a high commercial value compared to those obtained by the current waste treatment methods. Thus, spent coffee grounds are a promising source of natural by-products such as: food additives, pharmaceutical components, biosorbents, biofuels, and bioproducts. Based on these considerations, this project has as its main goals the inclusion of spent coffee grounds, one of the most common residues obtained in coffee shops and coffee processing industries, and which is currently discarded as a lignocellulosic raw material to produce compounds of green chemistry, that is, of environmentally sustainable production and with commercial interest, enabling a cascade valorization. Specifically, it will be presented the first scenario to produce bioactive compounds, a second scenario to produce biochar and its application in metal adsorption processes, and a third scenario to produce oligosaccharides. In addition, a logistics network for collecting and transporting spent coffee grounds from coffee shops will be modeled. The three scenarios will be generated, providing the complete use of biomass fractions, optimizing some operational parameters, and assessing environmental impact and economic viability. It is also expected to contribute positively to scientific and technological development within a broad concept of sustainability (environmental and socioeconomic), allowing progress in the conceptual design of processes using lignocellulosic residues to produce bioproducts with high value-added and also to increase the teaching of sustainability principles and practices to Chemical Engineering students, interns and graduate students, in order to develop the necessary skills to place sustainability at the center of their future activities. (AU)

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