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Evaluation of the technological potential of microalgae aiming its application in the energy, food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors


The present project has the objective of evaluate microalgae technological potential, aiming to increase the amount of their cell constituents (lipids, fatty acids and pigments) in order to employ these components to obtain products of industrial interest, encompassing energetic sector (biodiesel), food and feed sectors (PUFAs: poly-unsaturated fatty acids), cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. This project's proposition is to work in two main fronts: i) using tubular and bubble column, LED lit, homemade photobioreactors, it will be evaluated the influence of the light wavelength, used during cultivation, over the production of the cell constituents of industrial interest; ii) using lipid feedstock of lower cost as a source of lipid for energy and food sectors. These two main work fronts may converge, at the project's final steps, in order to establish a technically feasible biotechnology production, allowing the integration between industrial processes and sustainability. Additionally to the already established microalgae cultivation to obtain energy and produce nutraceuticals, microalgae ability to produce pigments, such as carotenes and chlorophyll, has been another important topic of the recent researches. Regarding this aspect, the present project aims to optimize the cultivation conditions in order to enhance the microalgae pigment production, and also establish proper extraction and quantification methods for the pigments of interest. For biodiesel production, as the microbial oil has acid properties, making the use of basic catalyst unfeasible, the present studies will be focused on the employment of heterogeneous acid catalysts to promote the transesterification reaction. Relating to the PUFAs obtainment, there will be promoted lipid hydrolysis of the microalgal oil in order to obtain a concentrate of omega-3 and omega-6, essential fatty acids, for direct application in food and feed industry (nutraceutical functional foods). The presented proposal is in the context of the need to develop and improve new sustainable processes which can be economically competitive with the classical industry production. Furthermore, it will contribute to open new possibilities in the uses of microalgae biomass, as a new source, to produce high valuable products of industrial interest. (AU)

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BREDDA, EDUARDO HENRIQUE; DA SILVA, ANEIRSON FRANCISCO; SILVA, MESSIAS BORGES; MOLGERO DA ROS, PATRICIA CAROLINE. Mixture design as a potential tool in modeling the effect of light wavelength on Dunaliella salina cultivation: an alternative solution to increase microalgae lipid productivity for biodiesel production. PREPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY & BIOTECHNOLOGY, v. 50, n. 4, . (16/18909-3)
MOLGERO DA ROS, PATRICIA CAROLINE; MENEZES, TALITHA KUHN; BREDDA, EDUARDO HENRIQUE; SILVA, MESSIAS BORGES; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR FERREIRA. Microalgae as a Feedstock for Sustainable Fatty Acids: Factorial Design Study. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY, v. 43, n. 1, SI, . (16/18909-3, 17/04763-0, 16/10636-8)
MACHADO, SARA A.; DA ROS, PATRICIA C. M.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F.; GIORDANI, DOMINGOS S.. Hydrolysis of vegetable and microbial oils catalyzed by a solid preparation of castor bean lipase. BIOCATALYSIS AND AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY, v. 37, . (16/10636-8, 16/18909-3)
LOURES, CARLA C. A.; AMARAL, MATEUS S.; DA ROS, PATRICIA C. M.; ZORN, SAVIENNE M. F. E.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F.; SILVA, MESSIAS B.. Simultaneous esterification and transesterification of microbial oil from Chlorella minutissima by acid catalysis route: A comparison between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. FUEL, v. 211, p. 261-268, . (16/18909-3)

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