Strategies for the development of a more sustainable society are the key to a promising future. The accelerated growth of the world population is directly reflected in the increase in demand for new inputs, raw materials, and food. On the other hand, food waste plagues contemporary society, generating greater social vulnerability and environmental impacts inherent to the production of this sector. In this sense, and accordance with international sustainability guidelines and the 12 principles of green chemistry, this project aims to build new platforms for the use of agro-industrial waste. In this work, we will apply biorefinery and circular economy concepts to the development of new processes for extracting bright red dyes and bioactive compounds from pomegranate and beet disposal. Alternative non-volatile solvents, namely ionic liquids and eutectic solvents, will be applied to pressurized fluid extraction (PLE). Although little explored to date, it is an efficient and biocompatible strategy, but also promising in the improvement of sustainability of extraction and purification processes. All products obtained (extracts and/or fractions) will have their production optimized, considering the reuse of solvents and the economic and environmental impacts. This project meets the proposals of the Young Researcher Project phase 2 entitled "Development of a two-dimensional system of extraction, separation and analysis for the evaluation of the bioactivity of phytochemicals." It is worth noting that this proposal will allow advancing state of the art regarding sustainable extraction and purification processes applied in waste recovery (namely in the process integration strategies for the development of new products obtained by the development of the circular economy and biorefinery concepts). With the completion of the internship, it will be possible to establish a new partnership between UNICAMP and the University of Aveiro, in addition to creating a new line of research, pioneering worldwide, to study the phenomenon inherent to PLE extraction processes associated with ionic liquids and eutectic solvents in the search for natural (stable) dyes, which seems to be a promising strategy towards the development of the green industry.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: