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ABSTRACT FOR PARTNERS SEARCH FOR PROJECT ENTITLED
“BIOMASSES AS RENEWABLE SOURCE OF CHEMICALS FOR
THE INDUSTRY WITH FRIENDLY
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
Product and Process Development Designed to Integrate
Current Technologies for the Production of Biofuels”

Contact person:
Prof. Enzo Montoneri
Tel.: 0039 333 3500522
Fax: 011 6707591
Email: enzo.montoneri@unito.it
http://www.unito.it/...


UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI TORINO

 

Biochemenergy is a project aimed to upgrading biomasses, such as compost, anaerobic digestate and organic residues from mechanical-biological treatment plants, as source of bio-based products for the chemical industry and for agicultural uses. The project is run by the University of Torino (UNITO) in cooperation with three other partners located in Piemonte, Italy, such as Acea Pinerolese spa in Pinerolo, Studio Chiono ed Associati in Rivarolo Canavese,  Erica in Alba and Arpa Piemonte in Torino. So far, this project has proven that the above biowastes contain soluble bio-organics (SBO) whose chemical nature is very similar to soil and peat organic matter. These substances have been found to have good surfactant properties and to perform in several chemical technological applications as well as or better than commercial synthetic surfactants from non-renewable sources. This concept has been demonstrated for a few specific applications: i.e., textile dyeing, detergents manufacture, hydrocarbons contaminated soil washing and photodegradation of exhausted dye baths. Further intriguing scope for investigating the use of these products for animal nutrition derives from results published for similar substances isolated from peat.
At the present time a pilot plan is available for treating biomass residues and separating the lignin-like fraction from the polysaccharide fraction. The plant, which has been built within the project funds, is designed to isolate SBO in 10-20 Kg batch quantities from bio-organic residues and to allow both product evaluation by potential users and product /process development.
The project available data point out that on the basis of the wide range of applications the potential monetary value of the above SBO spans from 1 to 100 $/kg against a processing cost evaluated at 0.10-0.50 $/kg, depending on the degree of purity required by the intended application.
The perspective to recycle waste bio-based products to the chemical and consumer’s market allows to envision a number of beneficial expectations for the industry and society. These are low production cost, high product added value, lower consumption of synthetic chemicals, and in turn significant environmental benefits deriving from lower CO2 emission, lower fossils consumption, and lower concern for disposal practices of industrial wastes. The developed chemical technology for SBO isolation might be used to integrate current energy and waste management technologies for the production of electricity, biogas, bioethanol, or refuse derived fuel in many ways, either as pre-treatment or post treatment of the unconverted organic fractions. In case of bioethanol technology, pre-treatment of the starting biomass to separate lignin from cellulose is likely to produce benefits deriving from higher bioethanol yield obtained from purified cellulose and from additional revenue obtained from sale of SBO isolated from the separated lignin fraction. The available data and perspectives encourage the development of new bio-based products and processes from bio-organic residues at commercial scale.
In this context, UNITO is looking for partners to implement and transfer its laboratory results to industrial and commercial scale. Ideal partners would be producer and vendors  of surfactants and chemical auxiliaries,  as well as industries involved in biobased products and wastes management.

 
   
References  

Introduction

Plant

Surfactants

Metal Surfaces

Detergency

Fabric dying

Cleaning water

Emulsions


Plant integration