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Production of xylitol from mixtures of by-products of biomass from South and North America in a stirred tank reactor (STR)

Grant number: 18/23241-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal Investigator:Silvio Silvério da Silva
Grantee:Alesson Santos da Silva
Supervisor: Sudip Kumar Rakshit
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil
Research place: Lakehead University, Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:18/13882-5 - Production of ethanol and xylitol from mixtures of biomass by-products from South and North America, in a bubble column reactor operated in a fluidized bed mode, BP.IC


Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol having wide used applications in various sectors including medicine, food industry, dentistry, pharmaceutical industry and many others. Some of the countries in American continent have introduced the production process of this bioproduct. Canada, for example, as of 2008, had the activities of its biochemical industry directed towards the development of a cheaper manufacturing process for xylitol. However, like the other major producers, the production process adopted by the Canadian industry consists of the chemical route of production, ignoring the use of the biochemical route for this purpose. Brazil continues to import most of this product, although it has a potential consumer market and a considerable surplus of biomasses that could be used as raw material for the biochemical production of xylitol. In addition, many of the biomass produced in Canada are also produced or imported by Brazil, such as corn and wheat. However, their by-products are, for the most part, used as feed for animals or sources of energy from burning. In this context, the proposed project is a partnership between the bioprocess laboratory of Dr. Silvio Silvério da Silva (located at the Lorena School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Brazil) and the laboratory of Professor Dr. Sudip Kumar Rakshit (located at the Lakehead University, Canada), and will aim to devlope novel technology for production of xylitol from the biomass mixture in two sets. The first will be formed by mixing the by-products of some of Brazilian main biomasses (straw and sugarcane bagasse), and the second by mixing the by-products of some of Canadian main biomass (corn cob and wheat straw). The process will be conducted in a stirred tank reactor (STR) and the acid pretreatment of the sets will be in a high-pressure reactor, the processes being evaluated separately. Subsequently, the hemicellulosic hydrolysates (in separate processes) will be chemically prepared and used as a carbon source to evaluate xylitol production by yeast Candida guilliermondii FTI20037 using the same reactor. The results obtained in the research stage abroad will serve to complement the interpretation of the results recoreded in the project "Production of ethanol and xylitol from mixtures of biomass by-products from South and North America in a bubble column reactor operated in mode of the fluidized bed", allowing a conclusion to be drawn as to which type of reactor (stirred tank or bubble column) is most suitable for the production of xylitol on a industrial scale when using biomass mixture. In addition, it is intended to evaluate the feasibility of the use of each set of raw materials in the production of xylitol in stirred tank reactor. With this project it is hoped to obtain results that will strengthen the technology of the biotechnological production process of xylitol, besides contributing to the scholar's academic and scientific development. (AU)

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