Publications

Jul 02, 2021

Origin and industrial applications of lignosulfonates with a focus on their use as superplasticizers in concrete

Origin and industrial applications of lignosulfonates with a focus on their use as superplasticizers in concrete

In concrete technology, superplasticizers (SPs) are commonly used to reduce water content in concrete admixtures. Although most of them are fossil fuel-based, some derive from lignosulfonates (LS), that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly polyphenolic crosslinked polymers. Indeed, LS are an inexpensive and abundant raw material that contains a variety of functional groups including hydroxyls which can be involved in a wide range of chemical modifications to finely tune the physico-chemical properties of the material. This review presents: (1) the current SPs and their mechanism of adsorption and dispersion as admixtures to improve the properties of fresh concrete (e.g., workability, fluidity, setting time and water reducing ability) and that of hardened concrete (e.g., compressive and flexural strength), (2) LS origin and structure, (3) the various LS functionalization methods reported in the literature since 2000, and (4) their corresponding applications in the different fields such as water depollution, dispersant, superadsorbant, antioxidant, material replacement, and more specifically as water reducers for concrete. A special focus is made on the cement-SPs interactions and the impact of the modified-LS structures on the efficiency of concrete. This review aims at demonstrating that, in the context of green chemistry, biorefinery and bioeconomy, sustainable chemical modification of low cost and abundant LS is a worthwhile approach to design materials that find applications in critical industries such as the concrete sector.

Jun 21, 2021

In-situ biogas upgrading by bio-methanation with an innovative membrane bioreactor combining sludge filtration and H2 injection

In-situ biogas upgrading by bio-methanation with an innovative membrane bioreactor combining sludge filtration and H<sub>2</sub> injection

A bioreactor using membrane technologies was used to demonstrate the feasibility of in-situ bio-methanation coupled to industrial wastewater treatment for biogas upgrading. High biogas productivity (1.7 Nm3Biogas/m3Bioreactor/day) with high CH4 content (97.9%) was reached. In-situ bio-methanation did not affect the COD removal efficiency of anerobic digestion (>94%). Process resilience has been tested for both substrate overload and H2 intermittence injection. Recovery of high CH4 content after 7 days without H2 injection occurred within few hours. Influence of microbial community has been studied showing that both hydrogenotrophic and homoacetogenic-acetoclastic pathways were involved.

Jun 19, 2021

Intensification of p-coumaric acid heterologous production using extractive biphasic fermentation

Intensification of <i>p</i>-coumaric acid heterologous production using extractive biphasic fermentation

p-coumaric acid (p-CA) can be produced from D-glucose by an engineered S. cerevisiae strain. p-CA has antimicrobial properties and retro-inhibition activity. Moreover, p-CA is a hydrophobic compound, limiting its accumulation in fermentation broth. To overcome these issues all at once, a liquid-liquid extraction in-situ product recovery process using oleyl alcohol as extractant has been implemented in order to continuously extract p-CA from the broth. Media and pH impacts on strain metabolism were assessed, highlighting p-CA decarboxylase endogenous activity. Biphasic fermentations allowed an increase in p-CA respiratory production rates at both pH assessed (13.65 and 9.45 mg.L-1.h-1 at pH 6 and 4.5, respectively) compared to control ones (10.5 and 7.5 mg.L.-1.h-1 at pH 6 and 4.5, respectively). Biphasic fermentation effects on p-CA decarboxylation were studied showing that continuous removal of p-CA decreased its decarboxylation into 4-vinylphenol at pH 4.5 (57 mg.L-1 in biphasic fermentation vs 173 mg.L-1 in control one).

Jun 15, 2021

Strategic Approach Towards Plastic Waste Valorization: Challenges and Promising Chemical Upcycling Possibilities

Strategic Approach Towards Plastic Waste Valorization: Challenges and Promising Chemical Upcycling Possibilities

Plastic waste, which is one of the major sources of pollution in the landfills and oceans, has raised global concern, primarily due to the huge production rate, high durability, and the lack of utilization of the available waste management techniques. Recycling methods are preferable to reduce the impact of plastic pollution to some extent. However, most of the recycling techniques are associated with different drawbacks, high cost and downgrading of product quality being among the notable ones. The sustainable option here is to upcycle the plastic waste to create high-value materials to compensate for the cost of production. Several upcycling techniques are constantly being investigated and explored, which is currently the only economical option to resolve the plastic waste issue. This review provides a comprehensive insight on the promising chemical routes available for upcycling of the most widely used plastic and mixed plastic wastes. The challenges inherent to these processes, the recent advances, and the significant role of the science and research community in resolving these issues are further emphasized.

Jun 10, 2021

Extraction of Phenolic Compounds and Terpenes from Cannabis sativa L. By-Products: From Conventional to Intensified Processes

Extraction of Phenolic Compounds and Terpenes from Cannabis sativa L. By-Products: From Conventional to Intensified Processes

Cannabis sativa L. is a controversial crop due to its high tetrahydrocannabinol content varieties; however, the hemp varieties get an increased interest. This paper describes (i) the main categories of phenolic compounds (flavonoids, stilbenoids and lignans) and terpenes (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) from C. sativa by-products and their biological activities and (ii) the main extraction techniques for their recovery. It includes not only common techniques such as conventional solvent extraction, and hydrodistillation, but also intensification and emerging techniques such as ultrasound-assisted extraction or supercritical CO2 extraction. The effect of the operating conditions on the yield and composition of these categories of phenolic compounds and terpenes was discussed. A thorough investigation of innovative extraction techniques is indeed crucial for the extraction of phenolic compounds and terpenes from cannabis toward a sustainable industrial valorization of the whole plant.

Jun 09, 2021

Chapter in "Handbook of Molecular Gastronomy"

Chapter in

Handbook of Molecular Gastronomy: Scientific Foundations and Culinary Applications presents a unique overview of molecular gastronomy, the scientific discipline dedicated to the study of phenomena that occur during the preparation and consumption of dishes. It deals with the chemistry, biology and physics of food preparation, along with the physiology of food consumption. As such, it represents the first attempt at a comprehensive reference in molecular gastronomy, along with a practical guide, through selected examples, to molecular cuisine and the more recent applications named note by note cuisine. While several books already exist for a general audience, either addressing food science in general in a "light" way and/or dealing with modern cooking techniques and recipes, no book exists so far that encompasses the whole molecular gastronomy field, providing a strong interdisciplinary background in the physics, biology and chemistry of food and food preparation, along with good discussions on creativity and the art of cooking.

Jun 07, 2021

The continuous evolution of the Bazancourt-Pomacle site rooted in the commitment and vision of pioneering farmers When reality shapes the biorefinery concept

The continuous evolution of the Bazancourt-Pomacle site rooted in the commitment and vision of pioneering farmers When reality shapes the biorefinery concept

Agriculture in Champagne owes its development to the determination of people and their ability to implement technical progress, work together to adapt to changes. The strong dynamic of the agricultural cooperative has been crucial in this exceptional development, in terms of agriculture, industrial processing and innovation. The Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery is both the result and the symbol of the determination of local farmers to develop new regional outlets by using cutting-edge technologies. The success of the site, considered as “the archetype of a territorial biorefinery,” is a perfect illustration of how, through innovation, weaknesses can become strengths. For this constantly evolving model, 2021 is, with the growing importance of bioeconomy, a new tipping point for the Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery.

May 24, 2021

Response Surface Methodology Applied to the Optimization of Phenolic Compound Extraction from Brassica

Response Surface Methodology Applied to the Optimization of Phenolic Compound Extraction from Brassica

The response surface methodology (RSM) is a relevant mathematical and statistical tool for process optimization. A state of the art on the optimization of the extraction of phenolic compounds from Brassica has shown that this approach is not sufficiently used. The reason for this is certainly an apparent complexity in comparison with the implementation of a one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) optimization. The objective of this chapter is to show how one implement the response surface methodology in a didactic way on a case study: the extraction of sinapine from mustard bran. Using this approach, prediction models have been developed and validated to predict the sinapine content extracted as well as the purity of the extract in sinapine. The methodology presented in this chapter can be reproduced on any other application in the field of process engineering.

Apr 28, 2021

Sinapic Acid and Sinapate Esters in Brassica: Innate Accumulation, Biosynthesis, Accessibility via Chemical Synthesis or Recovery from Biomass, and Biological Activities

Sinapic Acid and Sinapate Esters in Brassica: Innate Accumulation, Biosynthesis, Accessibility via Chemical Synthesis or Recovery from Biomass, and Biological Activities

Sinapic acid (SinA) and corresponding esters are secondary metabolites abundantly found in plants of Brassica family. Belonging to the family of p-hydroxycinnamic acids, SinA and its esters analogues are present in different plant parts and involved in multiple biological processes in planta. Moreover, these metabolites are also found in relatively large quantities in agro-industrial wastes. Nowadays, these metabolites are increasingly drawing attention due to their bioactivities which include antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and UV filtering activities. As a result, these metabolites find applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. In this context, this article reviews innate occurrence, biosynthesis, accessibility via chemical synthesis or direct extraction from agro-industrial wastes. Biological activities of SinA and its main corresponding esters will also be discussed.

Apr 13, 2021

Phenolic Ester-Decorated Cellulose Nanocrystals as UV-Absorbing Nanoreinforcements in Polyvinyl Alcohol Films

Phenolic Ester-Decorated Cellulose Nanocrystals as UV-Absorbing Nanoreinforcements in Polyvinyl Alcohol Films

Grafting novel and nature-inspired phenolic esters onto cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) provides nanofibers with excellent protection against UV radiation when incorporated into a polymer matrix. In this work, CNCs decorated with a novel UV-absorbing phenolic diester (CNC-diethyl ferulate or CNC-DEF) obtained via a click-type copper-catalyzed azide/alkyne cycloaddition reaction were incorporated into a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) matrix to produce transparent films with excellent photostability and UV-absorbing properties. PVA films filled with 20 wt % CNC-DEF exhibited complete UV protection (0% transmittance) and high transparency in the visible region (70–90% transmittance). In contrast, PVA films loaded with the pristine CNCs do not show any UV-shielding properties. Importantly, the grafting of DEF moieties on CNCs significantly aids the dispersion of the phenolic diester in the aqueous PVA matrix, which was not achieved with DEF blended with PVA. Mechanical tests also show that the addition of 20 wt % CNC-DEF in PVA increases the tensile strength and modulus by 91 and 150%, respectively, relative to neat PVA. The oxygen barrier properties of the composite film also improve with CNC-DEF addition. This study shows the great potential of the phenolic-ester-decorated CNCs as dispersible, multifunctional UV-absorbing nanoreinforcements in PVA films for industrial and packaging applications.

Apr 11, 2021

Excellent performance of anaerobic membrane bioreactor in treatment of distillery wastewater at pilot scale

Excellent performance of anaerobic membrane bioreactor in treatment of distillery wastewater at pilot scale

A pilot-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) was designed and optimized for the treatment of real distillery wastewater. A low hydraulic retention time of 3.5 days was reached after only 3 weeks. The AnMBR could treat up to 3.97 gCOD/L/day with high biogas production at 1.36 NLbiogas/Lbioreactor/day. The performances of an AnMBR and an anaerobic packed-bed bioreactor for treating the same wastewater were compared. The AnMBR had a shorter start-up period (21 days), a higher COD removal efficiency (96.9 %), and higher stability and methane production (0.26 LCH4/gCODinput), indicating the interest of investigating AnMBR industrialization. The membrane performance was also studied, demonstrating a long cleaning cycle interval of at least 44 days. The transmembrane pressure and Food-to-Microorganism ratio were defined to minimize membrane fouling without affecting the anaerobic digestion performance.

Apr 01, 2021

Implementation of an Enzyme Membrane Reactor to Intensify the α-O-Glycosylation of Resveratrol Using Cyclodextrins

Implementation of an Enzyme Membrane Reactor to Intensify the α-O-Glycosylation of Resveratrol Using Cyclodextrins

The O-glycosylation of resveratrol increases both its solubility in water and its bioavailability while preventing its oxidation, allowing a more efficient use of this molecule as a bioactive ingredient in pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Resveratrol O-glycosides can be obtained by enzymatic reactions. Recent developments have made it possible to selectively obtain resveratrol α-glycosides from the β-cyclodextrin–resveratrol complex in water with a yield of 35%. However, this yield is limited by the partial hydrolysis of the resveratrol glycosides produced during the reaction. In this study, we propose to intensify this enzymatic reaction by coupling the enzymatic reactor to a membrane process. Firstly, membrane screening was carried out at the laboratory scale and led to the choice of a GE polymeric membrane with a cut-off of 1 kDa. This membrane allowed the retention of 65% of the β-cyclodextrin–resveratrol complex in the reaction medium and the transfer of 70% of the resveratrol α-O-glycosides in the permeate. In a second step, this membrane was used in an enzymatic membrane reactor and improved the yield of the enzymatic glycosylation up to 50%.

Mar 25, 2021

Synthesis of Biobased Phloretin Analogues: An Access to Antioxidant and Anti-Tyrosinase Compounds for Cosmetic Applications

Synthesis of Biobased Phloretin Analogues: An Access to Antioxidant and Anti-Tyrosinase Compounds for Cosmetic Applications

The current cosmetic and nutraceutical markets are characterized by a strong consumer demand for a return to natural products that are less harmful to both the consumers and the environment than current petrosourced products. Phloretin, a natural dihydrochalcone (DHC) found in apple, has been widely studied for many years and identified as a strong antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase ingredient for cosmetic formulations. Its low concentration in apples does not allow it to be obtained by direct extraction from biomass in large quantities to meet market volumes and prices. Moreover, its remarkable structure prevents its synthesis through a green process. To overcome these issues, the synthesis of phloretin analogs appears as an alternative to access valuable compounds that are potentially more active than phloretin itself. Under such considerations, 12 chalcones (CHs) and 12 dihydrochalcones (DHCs) were synthesized through a green Claisen–Schmidt condensation using bio-based reagents. In order to evaluate the potential of these molecules, radical scavenging DPPH and anti-tyrosinase tests have been conducted. Moreover, the UV filtering properties and the stability of these analogs towards UV-radiations have been evaluated. Some molecules showed competitive antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase activities regarding phloretin. Two compounds in particular showed EC50 lower than phloretin, one chalcone and one dihydrochalcone.

Mar 10, 2021

Blending Ferulic Acid Derivatives and Polylactic Acid into Biobased and Transparent Elastomeric Materials with Shape Memory Properties

Blending Ferulic Acid Derivatives and Polylactic Acid into Biobased and Transparent Elastomeric Materials with Shape Memory Properties

Thanks to its remarkable properties such as sustainability, compostability, biocompatibility, and transparency, poly-l-lactic acid (PLA) would be a suitable replacement for oil-based polymers should it not suffer from low flexibility and poor toughness, restricting its use to rigid plastic by excluding elastomeric applications. Indeed, there are few fully biobased and biodegradable transparent elastomers–PLA-based or not–currently available. In the last decades, many strategies have been investigated to soften PLA and enhance its toughness and elongation at break by using plasticizers, oligomers, or polymers.

This work shows how a ferulic acid-derived biobased additive (BDF) blends with a common rigid and brittle commercial grade of polylactic acid to provide a transparent non-covalently cross-linked elastomeric material with shape memory behavior exhibiting an elongation at break of 434% (vs 6% for pristine PLA). Through a structure–activity relationship analysis conducted with BDF analogues and a modeling study, we propose a mechanism based on π–π stacking to account for the elastomeric properties. Blending ferulic acid derivatives with polylactic acid generates a new family of fully sustainable transparent elastomeric materials with functional properties such as shape memory.

Feb 26, 2021

Identification and Expression of a CHMO from Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain Pa1242: Application to the Bioconversion of Cyrene™ into Key Precursor (S)-γ-Hydroxymethyl-Butyrolactone

Identification and Expression of a CHMO from Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain Pa1242: Application to the Bioconversion of Cyrene™ into Key Precursor (S)-γ-Hydroxymethyl-Butyrolactone

A sequence from the complete genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain Pa1242 was identified to code for a potential new Cyclohexanone Monooxygenase (CHMO). The latter was discovered using the Basic Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) with the DNA sequence of the CHMO from Acinetobacter sp. NCIB 9871 as parent sequence considering that this enzymes family maintains a relatively high query cover (>95%) and identity percentage (>50%) among many different microorganisms. This was confirmed by the bioconversion of cellulose-based green solvent CyreneTM into key precursor (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-butyrolactone (2H-HBO) using a new strain of E. coli BL21(DE3) containing a plasmid designed for the overexpression of the unprecedent CHMO (pLM7). Besides confirming the CHMO activity of this novel sequence, this bioconversion allows the obtention of 2H-HBO while maintaining the naturalness of the process. The optimal culture conditions were assessed through a Design of Experiment, and the control of the pH and O2 level allowed to reach working concentration of 20 g/L of CyreneTM with total conversion and a productivity rate of 401 ± 36 mg/L/h.

Feb 17, 2021

Optimization and Comparison of Three Cell Disruption Processes on Lipid Extraction from Microalgae

Optimization and Comparison of Three Cell Disruption Processes on Lipid Extraction from Microalgae

This study reports on the optimization of the operating conditions using response surface methodology and a comparative study of three promising technologies of cell disruption (bead milling, microwaves and ultrasound) to increase the lipid extraction from Nannochloropsis oceanica, Nannochloropsis gaditana and Tetraselmis suecica. Central composite designs were used for the optimization of ultrasound and microwave processes. The performance of the cell disruption processes in breaking down microalgae cells is dependent on the strain of microalgae. Microwaves (91 °C for 25 min) were the most efficient for the recovery of lipids from N. oceanica, reaching a lipid content of 49.0% dry weight. For N. gaditana, ultrasound process (80% of amplitude for 30 min) was the most efficient in terms of lipid recovery (21.7% dry weight). The two aforementioned processes are ineffective in disturbing T. suecica whatever the operating conditions used. Only the bead milling process at low flow feed rate with 0.4 mm zirconia beads made it possible to extract 12.6% dry weight from T. suecica. The fatty acid profiles of N. oceanica and T. suecica are affected by the cell disruption process applied. The calculation of specific energy consumption has shown that this criterion should not be neglected. The choice of the most suitable cell disruption process can be defined according to numerous parameters such as the microalgae studied, the total lipid extracted, the fatty acids sought, or the energy consumption.

Feb 10, 2021

Are Lignin-Derived Monomers and Polymers truly sustainable? An In-Depth Green Metrics Calculations Approach

Are Lignin-Derived Monomers and Polymers truly sustainable? An In-Depth Green Metrics Calculations Approach

The usage of renewable resources has become a hot topic upon the rising global awareness against fossil feedstock consumption. Lignin, the 2nd most abundant natural polymer on Earth, is an aromatic biomacromolecule that holds a tremendous potential for the synthesis of biobased materials. The production of monomers and polymers from lignin has been investigated for years and keeps on-expanding, as proven by the flourishing literature. However, the sustainability of the chemical synthesis has not been systematically analyzed. Herein, green chemistry plays a vital role in this area and provides several tools to design eco-friendly production methods. This critical review first describes the preeminent approaches for the synthesis of biobased monomers and polymers from lignin-derived compounds. In the second part, the “greenness” aspects of the 175 key monomer synthesis methods and 32 polymerization methods are evaluated based on selected criteria, including waste generation, atom efficiency, energy efficiency, usage of safer solvents and biocatalytic methodology. The accessible green metrics, such as environmental factor (E factor) and atom economy are calculated to measure the greenness and to provide a quantitative base for strategic decisions. Furthermore, this study provides insights for the improvement opportunities and lights up the room for further developments. This review, aiming at scientists, industries and investors, strives to provide a critical outlook for the existing synthetic methods and motivates researchers to call for the integration of sustainability factors.

Jan 28, 2021

Effective Lignin Utilization Strategy: Major Depolymerization Technologies, Purification Process and Production of Valuable Material

Effective Lignin Utilization Strategy: Major Depolymerization Technologies, Purification Process and Production of Valuable Material

Considering the drawbacks associated with the fossil-based molecules, polymers and materials, lignin has acquired immense popularity owing to its distinct advantages. However, till date it has not been widely commercialized to produce fossil replacements mainly due to its complex structure and purification hassle. Constant research is going on to discover ways to depolymerize lignin to produce various aromatic chemicals. This highlight review summarizes the key investigations carried out in the field of lignin valorization, purification and the valuable products generated from lignin.

Jan 03, 2021

Selective Extraction of Sinapic Acid Derivatives from Mustard Seed Meal by Acting on pH: Toward a High Antioxidant Activity Rich Extract

Selective Extraction of Sinapic Acid Derivatives from Mustard Seed Meal by Acting on pH: Toward a High Antioxidant Activity Rich Extract

The aim of this paper is to study the effect of the pH on the extraction of sinapic acid and its derivatives from mustard seed meal. Solutions of acidic pH (pH 2), basic pH (pH 12) and distilled water (uncontrolled pH ~ 4.5) were tested at different percentages of ethanol. The maximum extraction yield for sinapic acid (13.22 µmol/g of dry matter (DM)) was obtained with a buffered aqueous solution at pH 12. For ethyl sinapate, the maximum extraction yield reached 9.81 µmol/g DM with 70% ethanol/buffered aqueous solution at pH 12. The maximum extraction yield of sinapine (15.73 µmol/g DM) was achieved with 70% ethanol/buffered aqueous solution at pH 2. The antioxidant activity of each extract was assessed by DPPH assay; the results indicated that the extracts obtained at pH 12 and at low ethanol percentages (<50%) exhibit a higher antioxidant activity than extracts obtained at acidic conditions. Maximum antioxidant activity was reached at pH 12 with buffer solution (11.37 mg of Trolox Equivalent/g DM), which confirms that sinapic acid-rich fractions exhibit a higher antioxidant activity. Thus, to obtain rich antioxidant extracts, it is suggested to promote the presence of sinapic acid in the extracts.

Dec 23, 2020

Valorization of waste biomass from oleaginous “oil-bearing” seeds through the biocatalytic production of sinapic acid from mustard bran

Valorization of waste biomass from oleaginous “oil-bearing” seeds through the biocatalytic production of sinapic acid from mustard bran

This paper focuses on developing a sustainable and integrated process for the biocatalytic extraction of sinapic acid from the waste biomass of oleaginous “oil-bearing” seeds. Using an optimized chemo-enzymatic technique, sinapine was effectively liberated from mustard bran and then completely hydrolyzed into sinapic acid. Several parameters were optimized to release sinapic acid (e.g., mustard species, extraction methods, mustard production dates, ethanol concentration, solids loading, extraction time and enzyme type or concentration). Subsequently, an integrated bioprocess was developed and scaled up guided. The results revealed that the biomass type or source and the enzyme used can substantially impact the release of sinapic acid, and overall cost, respectively. For the Canadian lot of crude mustard bran, ~10 mg of sinapic acid per g mustard bran was successfully extracted, along with 43 mg total phenolics per g mustard bran and 71 mg sugars per g mustard bran. Lastly, supplementary portions of the biomass (i.e., lipids) were also discussed for their applicability as value added products.

Dec 22, 2020

New Generation UV-A Filters: Understanding Their Photodynamics on a Human Skin Mimic

New Generation UV-A Filters: Understanding Their Photodynamics on a Human Skin Mimic

The sparsity of efficient commercial ultraviolet-A (UV-A) filters is a major challenge toward developing effective broadband sunscreens with minimal human- and eco-toxicity. To combat this, we have designed a new class of Meldrum-based phenolic UV-A filters. We explore the ultrafast photodynamics of coumaryl Meldrum, CMe, and sinapyl Meldrum (SMe), both in an industry-standard emollient and on a synthetic skin mimic, using femtosecond transient electronic and vibrational absorption spectroscopies and computational simulations. Upon photoexcitation to the lowest excited singlet state (S1), these Meldrum-based phenolics undergo fast and efficient nonradiative decay to repopulate the electronic ground state (S0). We propose an initial ultrafast twisted intramolecular charge-transfer mechanism as these systems evolve out of the Franck–Condon region toward an S1/S0 conical intersection, followed by internal conversion to S0 and subsequent vibrational cooling. Importantly, we correlate these findings to their long-term photostability upon irradiation with a solar simulator and conclude that these molecules surpass the basic requirements of an industry-standard UV filter.

Dec 12, 2020

Inhibition of Phenolics Uptake by Ligninolytic Fungal Cells and Its Potential as a Tool for the Production of Lignin-Derived Aromatic Building Blocks

Inhibition of Phenolics Uptake by Ligninolytic Fungal Cells and Its Potential as a Tool for the Production of Lignin-Derived Aromatic Building Blocks

Lignin is the principal natural source of phenolics but its structural complexity and variability make it difficult to valorize through chemical depolymerization approaches. White rots are one of the rare groups of organisms that are able to degrade lignin in ecosystems. This biodegradation starts through extracellular enzymes producing oxidizing agents to depolymerize lignin and continue with the uptake of the generated oligomers by fungal cells for further degradation. Phanerochaete chrysosporium is one of the most studied species for the elucidation of these biodegradation mechanisms.

Although the extracellular depolymerization step appears interesting for phenolics production from lignin, the uptake and intracellular degradation of oligomers occurring in the course of the depolymerization limits its potential. In this study, we aimed at inhibiting the phenolics uptake mechanism through metabolic inhibitors to favor extracellular oligomers accumulation without preventing the ligninases production that is necessary for extracellular depolymerization. The use of sodium azide confirmed that an active transportation phenomenon is involved in the phenolics uptake in P. chrysosporium. A protocol based on carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone enabled reaching 85% inhibition for vanillin uptake. This protocol was shown not to inhibit, but on the contrary, to stimulate the depolymerization of both dehydrogenation polymers (DHPs) and industrial purified lignins.

Dec 02, 2020

Cellulose-Derived Levoglucosenone, a Great Versatile Chemical Platform for the Production of Renewable Monomers and Polymers

Cellulose-Derived Levoglucosenone, a Great Versatile Chemical Platform for the Production of Renewable Monomers and Polymers

Upon the raising of environmental awareness, the transition from unsustainable polymers based on fossil resources to sustainable bio-based materials has become a hot topic. Since then, researchers are developing new monomers derived from natural resources to meet the global need in commodity polymers and to replace those based on fossil feedstock. Levoglucosenone (LGO) is a readily accessible chiral molecule from the acid-catalyzed flash pyrolysis of cellulose that can be used as a versatile platform for a wide range of high value-added compounds. This chapter focuses on the new, yet rapidly evolving, field of LGO-derived monomers and their utility in the synthesis of polymers via different polymerization methods. Special considerations are given to the evaluation of the monomer syntheses and polymerization processes under the scope of green chemistry. The discussion is supported by the measurement of both atom economy and E factor, in order to assess the sustainability, as well as to provide a framework that allows the comparison between different approaches.

Nov 29, 2020

Solvent selection strategy for an ISPR (In Situ/In Stream Product Recovery) process: the case of microbial production of p-coumaric acid coupled with a liquid-liquid extraction

Solvent selection strategy for an ISPR (In Situ/In Stream Product Recovery) process: the case of microbial production of p-coumaric acid coupled with a liquid-liquid extraction

This work reports on a solvent selection for the liquid-liquid extraction of p-coumaric acid produced by an engineered strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The solvent selection is a key point of liquid-liquid extraction processes and this work describes a simple strategy to choose a suitable solvent for an in situ or in stream product recovery (ISPR) process during bioconversion. ISPR processes allow to limit the inhibition caused by end-products accumulation in the fermentation medium.

The strategy consists in scoring different solvents based on different criteria weighted according to their significance for the process. Extraction performance, solvent biocompatibility and compatibility with materials, were chosen as essential criteria and the first two were assessed experimentally using distribution coefficients and flow cytometry, respectively. Following this first step, three solvents were selected as candidates for the process of interest and ranked according to the process needs using secondary criteria, namely safety, sourcing and price. Finally, oleyl alcohol obtained the highest score and was therefore considered as the most suitable candidate for an ISPR process with the aim of continuously extracting p-coumaric acid from the fermentation medium. This work is a first step towards the implementation of integrated extractive bioconversion for the production of bio-based molecules such as p-hydroxycinnamic acids and derivatives.

Nov 17, 2020

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Levoglucosenone-Derived Bi-Functional Monomer and its Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization in Green Solvent Cyrene™

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Levoglucosenone-Derived Bi-Functional Monomer and its Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization in Green Solvent Cyrene™

The quite recent, yet quickly expanding, norbornene-levoglucosenone-based monomers family was extended to include a novel bi-functional methacrylate monomer that can be readily synthesized through a chemo-enzymatic pathway. The norbornene moiety was selectively polymerized via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) under ambient conditions where Cyrene™ was explored for the first time as a green bio-alternative organic solvent for ROMP reactions. The activity of the metathesis catalysts was finely tuned in Cyrene™, versus common and toxic solvents such as dichloromethane, resulting in highly thermostable functional polymers with Td5% up to 401 °C and Tg of −16.8 °C.

Nov 10, 2020

Synthesis and polymerization of bio-based acrylates: a review

Synthesis and polymerization of bio-based acrylates: a review

Acrylates and polyacrylates have been produced massively due to their interesting application like Plexiglas. However, the contemporary issues of fossil depletion associated to climate change have raised serious concerns. As a result, utilization of renewable sources such as lignocellulosic material and the development of greener processes have been investigated intensively. Herein, we review the preparation of competitive (meth)acrylates and the corresponding polymers made from bio-renewable sources with a specific focus on lignocellulose. While covering a few family of biosynthon to produce acrylates through different synthetic pathways, we also approach the promising properties of the resulting materials.

Oct 15, 2020

Accessing p‐Hydroxycinnamic acids: chemical synthesis, biomass recovery or engineered microbial production?

Accessing <i>p‐</i>Hydroxycinnamic acids: chemical synthesis, biomass recovery or engineered microbial production?

p‐Hydroxycinnamic acids (i.e. , p‐coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, and caffeic acids) are phenolic compounds involved inter alia in the biosynthesis pathway of lignin. These naturally occurring molecules not only exhibit numerous attractive properties, such as antioxidant, anti‐UV, and anticancer activities, but they also have been used as building blocks for the synthesis of tailored monomers and functional additives for the food/feed, cosmetic and plastics sectors. Despite their numerous high value‐added applications, the sourcing of p‐hydroxycinnamic acids is not ensured at the industrial scale except for ferulic acid, and their production cost remains too high for commodity applications. These compounds can be either chemically synthesized, extracted from lignocellulosic biomass, and recently their production through bioconversion emerged. Herein we will discuss the different strategies described in the literature to produce these valuable molecules.

Oct 03, 2020

Glucosinolates: Natural Occurrence, Biosynthesis, Accessibility, Isolation, Structures, and Biological Activities

Glucosinolates: Natural Occurrence, Biosynthesis, Accessibility, Isolation, Structures, and Biological Activities

Glucosinolates (GSLs) are secondary plant metabolites abundantly found in plant order Brassicales. GSLs are constituted by an S-β-d-glucopyrano unit anomerically connected to O-sulfated (Z)-thiohydroximate moiety. The side-chain of the O-sulfate thiohydroximate moiety, which is derived from a different amino acid, contributes to the diversity of natural GSL, with more than 130 structures identified and validated to this day. Both the structural diversity of GSL and their biological implication in plants have been biochemically studied. Although chemical syntheses of GSL have been devised to give access to these secondary metabolites, direct extraction from biomass remains the conventional method to isolate natural GSL. While intact GSLs are biologically inactive, various products, including isothiocyanates, nitriles, epithionitriles, and cyanides obtained through their hydrolysis of GSLs, exhibit many different biological activities, among which several therapeutic benefits have been suggested. This article reviews natural occurrence, accessibility via chemical, synthetic biochemical pathways of GSL, and the current methodology of extraction, purification, and characterization. Structural information, including the most recent classification of GSL, and their stability and storage conditions will also be discussed. The biological perspective will also be explored to demonstrate the importance of these prominent metabolites.

Sep 21, 2020

Expeditious and sustainable two-step synthesis of sinapoyl malate and analogues: towards non-endocrine disruptive bio-based and water-soluble bioactive compounds

Expeditious and sustainable two-step synthesis of sinapoyl malate and analogues: towards non-endocrine disruptive bio-based and water-soluble bioactive compounds

Faced with the increasing demand from both the cosmetic industries and consumers for bio-based, safe and natural skin products, sinapoyl malate, widely described for its UV protection in plants, appears to be an excellent alternative to substitute chemical filters in sunscreens. Unfortunately, the only synthetic routes described in the literature were not only tedious but also exhibit a strong negative environmental impact, thus seriously limiting the industrialization and commercialization of sinapoyl malate. Herein, a shorter and greener synthetic pathway involving Meldrum’s acid opening with unprotected naturally occurring hydroxy-acids and its subsequent Knoevenagel-Doebner condensation with biomass-derived p-hydroxybenzaldehydes was designed and developed.

This two-step procedure, whom sustainability has been assessed using green metrics (atom economy (AE), process atom economy (PAE), E-factor and LCA), is a great alternative to the already reported procedures and allows the access to sinapoyl malate and several analogs in average to good yield. The study of the anti-UV properties, stability against UV radiation, radical scavenging and antimicrobial activities of the targets revealed attractive properties as photostable UV filters, antioxidants and preservatives. Moreover, the water solubility brought by the free carboxylic acids facilitates the incorporation of these molecules in cosmetic formulations. Finally, their innocuousness toward endocrine disruption was demonstrated.

Sep 21, 2020

Grafting Nature‐Inspired and Bio‐Based Phenolic Esters onto Cellulose Nanocrystals Gives Biomaterials with Photostable Anti‐UV Properties

Grafting Nature‐Inspired and Bio‐Based Phenolic Esters onto Cellulose Nanocrystals Gives Biomaterials with Photostable Anti‐UV Properties

New nature‐inspired and plant‐derived p‐hydroxycinnamate esters and p‐hydroxycinnamate diesters provide excellent protection against UV radiation when incorporated into a matrix. Herein, we report an efficient and sustainable pathway to graft these phenolic compounds onto cellulose nanocrystals via click‐type copper‐catalyzed azide/alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. The successful grafting of the phenolic esters on CNC surface was evidenced by a range of chemical analyses and the degree of substitutions (DS) of the CNC were found to depend on the structure of the phenolic ester grafted. Moreover, not only aqueous suspensions of the phenolic ester‐grafted CNCs strongly absorb in both the UVA and UVB regions, but they also exhibit average to very high photostability. Their large spectrum UV‐absorbing properties and their stability upon exposure to UV are highly influenced by the structure of the phenolic ester, particularly by the extra ester group in p‐hydroxycinnamate diesters. These findings undoubtedly demonstrate that cellulose nanocrystals decorated with such plant‐derived and nature‐inspired phenolic esters are promising sustainable nanomaterials for anti‐UV applications.

Sep 01, 2020

Effect of Heat Treatment and Light Exposure on the Antioxidant Activity of Flavonoids

Effect of Heat Treatment and Light Exposure on the Antioxidant Activity of Flavonoids

The application of food processes can lead to a modification of both the structure and the activities of flavonoids. In this article, the effect of heat treatment and exposure to light on the antioxidant activity of 6 model flavonoid solutions (rutin, naringin, eriodictyol, mesquitol, luteolin, and luteolin 7-O-glucoside) was studied. The evolution of the antioxidant activity measured after heat treatment of 130 °C at 2 h and an exposure to visible light for 2 weeks is measured by the ABTS (2,2′-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt) method and represented by a new parameter called ΔTEAC. The model solution of Mesquitol showed the highest increase in ΔTEAC after a heat treatment, a value of 200 mM was obtained. The increase in ΔTEAC is always greater with thermal treatment than with light exposure. Thus, temperature and light lead to different degradation pathways of the flavonoid. In vivo measurements were carried out with solutions of naringin, erodictyol, and luteolin 7-O-glucoside. Heated solutions of flavonoids do not exhibit toxicity on cells. The specific activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxide have been determined and have shown an increased impact on the potential anti-cancer of these solutions by enhancing their cellular antioxidant activity, as well as modulation of the oxidative stress.

Aug 29, 2020

A Straightforward Access to Post-Functionalizable Polymers through Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization of Levoglucosenone-Derived Monomers

A Straightforward Access to Post-Functionalizable Polymers through Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization of Levoglucosenone-Derived Monomers

Levoglucosenone (LGO) is a cellulose-derived and commercially available platform molecule that is produced at an industrial scale. LGO contains a highly reactive double bond that was used to produce two isomers of norbornene-containing LGO monomers, endo-N-LGO (1) and exo-N-LGO (2). Furthermore, Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of 1 was performed to yield a highly-valuable chiral monomer, endo-N-HBO (3). The norbornene moiety of the prepared monomers was readily polymerized by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) in the presence of GI catalyst to access highly thermostable polymers with Td5% up to 360 °C in the case of N-LGO-based polymers and Td5% in the range of 374-380 °C when 3 was polymerized, such range of Td5% being the highest reported up-to-date for the LGO-derived polymers. The effect of monomer concentration over the polymerization process was studied and showed that 4 M solutions lead to a better monomer conversion while preserving the control over the polymer structure and reducing the environmental factor (E factor). GI was found active in the ROMP of 3 without the need of protecting the hydroxy group and thus leading to pendent hydroxy functional polymers. Furthermore, for the first time, copolymers containing both LGO and HBO reactive moieties were prepared by random copolymerization of 1 and 3.

Aug 24, 2020

Sinapic Acid Esters: Octinoxate Substitutes Combining Suitable UV Protection and Antioxidant Activity

Sinapic Acid Esters: Octinoxate Substitutes Combining Suitable UV Protection and Antioxidant Activity

In 2021, Hawaii will permanently ban the use and sale of octinoxate-based sunscreens as studies have shown serious impacts of such UV filters on the coral reef. This ban, which could be generalized to other countries, highlights the extreme need to offer alternative UV filters that are not only effective in terms of sun protection, but also healthy with regards to human health and the environment. In this context, a wide library of p-hydroxycinnamic esters deriving from naturally occurring sinapic acid has been synthesized using a Knoevenagel–Doebner condensation. The UV filtering activities as well as the antioxidant properties of these sinapic acid esters were then investigated. The results showed promising UVB protection and antioxidant efficacy. A Structure–Activity Relationship (SAR) study on the sinapic acid esters highlighted the need of a free phenol to, as expected, observe antioxidant activity, but also to obtain a higher intensity of protection. Moreover, the nature of the ester moiety also proved to be a key structural feature for the UV absorbance, as higher steric hindrance on the ester moiety leads to more active compounds. The judicious structural design of sinapic esters thus provides promising compounds combining UV protection and antioxidant activity.

Jul 07, 2020

Conservation of ultrafast photoprotective mechanisms with increasing molecular complexity in sinapoyl malate derivatives

Conservation of ultrafast photoprotective mechanisms with increasing molecular complexity in sinapoyl malate derivatives

Sinapoyl malate is a natural plant sunscreen molecule which protects leaves from harmful ultraviolet radi‐ ation. Here, the ultrafast dynamics of three sinapoyl malate derivatives, sinapoyl L‐dimethyl malate, sinapoyl L‐diethyl malate and sinapoyl L‐di‐ t ‐butyl malate, have been studied us‐ ing transient electronic absorption spectroscopy, in a dioxane and methanol solvent environment to investigate how well pre‐ served these dynamics remain with increasing molecular com‐ plexity. In all cases it was found that, upon photoexcitation, deactivation occurs via a trans‐cis isomerisation pathway within ∼ 20‐30 ps. This cis photoproduct, formed during photodeac‐ tivation, is stable and longed‐lived for all molecules in both solvents. The incredible levels of conservation of the isomerisa‐ tion pathway with increased molecular complexity demonstrate the efficacy of these molecules as ultraviolet photoprotectors, even in strongly perturbing solvents. As such, we suggest these molecules might be well‐suited for augmentations to further im‐ prove their photoprotective efficacy or chemical compatibility with other components of sunscreen mixtures, whilst conserv‐ ing their underlying photodynamic properties.

Jun 17, 2020

Exploring the photochemistry of an ethyl sinapate dimer: An attempt towards a better ultraviolet filter

Exploring the photochemistry of an ethyl sinapate dimer: An attempt towards a better ultraviolet filter

The photochemistry and photostability of a potential ultraviolet (UV) radiation filter, dehydrodiethylsinapate, with a broad absorption in the UVA region, is explored utilizing a combination of femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy and steady-state irradiation studies. The time-resolved measurements show that this UV filter candidate undergoes excited state relaxation after UV absorption on a timescale of ~10 picoseconds, suggesting efficient relaxation. However, steady-state irradiation measurements show degradation under prolonged UV exposure. From a photochemical standpoint, this highlights the importance of considering both the ultrafast and “ultraslow” timescales when designing new potential UV filters.

Jun 10, 2020

Optimization of an ethanol/water based sinapine extraction from mustard bran using Response Surface Methodology

Optimization of an ethanol/water based sinapine extraction from mustard bran using Response Surface Methodology

This study reports an optimization of the extraction of sinapine from industrial mustard bran using an ethanol/water mixture as a green solvent. Response surface methodology was used to determine the optimal operating conditions for the extraction process. The results show that to obtain a maximum yield of sinapine, the extraction process must be carried out at 75 °C with 70% ethanol and a ratio of 10 mL/gBDM. Under these conditions, the extraction kinetics have shown that equilibrium is reached for a concentration of 8.8 ± 0.1 mg/gBDM in 30 min. The mustard bran is exhausted to 95% sinapine after two successive extractions. The selectivity of the extraction process for sinapine could be increased by 20% using an ethanol concentration of 83%, the yield of sinapine is then 8.0 ± 0.1 mg/gBDM.

Jun 02, 2020

Sustainable Straightforward Synthesis and Evaluation of the Antioxidant and Antimicrobial activity of Sinapine and Analogs

Sustainable Straightforward Synthesis and Evaluation of the Antioxidant and Antimicrobial activity of Sinapine and Analogs

Naturally occurring sinapine was successfully synthesized through a proline-mediated Knoevenagel-Doebner condensation in ethanol. This synthetic process involving bio-based syringaldehyde, Meldrum’s acid and choline chloride, offers a sustainable alternative to the existing low yield pathways. This two-step strategy gives access to sinapine in a 52% overall yield, and has been implemented to the synthesis of sinapine analogs using 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and vanillin as precursors giving target molecules with 34-61% overall isolated yields. Purity of synthetic sinapine and that of its analogs (ca. 95%) was assessed by NMR and HPLC-MS analysis. Furthermore, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities were assessed and confirmed the potential of this series of molecules.

May 06, 2020

Innovative Bio-Based Organic UV-A and Blue Light Filters from Meldrum’s Acid

Innovative Bio-Based Organic UV-A and Blue Light Filters from Meldrum’s Acid

Faced with the ban of some organic UV filters such as octinoxate or avobenzone, especially in Hawaii, it became essential to offer new alternatives that are both renewable and safe for humans and the environment. In this context, a class of bio-based molecules displaying interesting UV filter properties and great (photo)stability has been developed from Meldrum’s acid and bio-based and synthetic p-hydroxycinnamic acids, furans and pyrroles. Moreover, p-hydroxycinnamic acid-based Meldrum’s derivatives possess valuable secondary activities sought by the cosmetic industry such as antioxidant and anti-tyrosinase properties. The evaluation of the properties of mixture of judiciously chosen Meldrum’s acid derivatives highlighted the possibility to modulate secondary activity while maintaining excellent UV protection. Meldrum’s acid derivatives are not only competitive when benchmarked against organic filters currently on the market (i.e., avobenzone), but they also do not exhibit any endocrine disruption activity.

Apr 18, 2020

Sustainable Synthesis of p-Hydroxycinnamic Diacids through Proline-Mediated Knoevenagel Condensation in Ethanol: An Access to Potent Phenolic UV Filters and Radical Scavengers

Sustainable Synthesis of p-Hydroxycinnamic Diacids through Proline-Mediated Knoevenagel Condensation in Ethanol: An Access to Potent Phenolic UV Filters and Radical Scavengers

p-Hydroxycinnamic diacids are reaction intermediates of the classical Knoevenagel–Doebner condensation between malonic acid and benzaldehydes. As they are generally obtained in low yields, they remain relatively under-studied and under-exploited. Herein, we developed and optimized a sustainable synthetic procedure allowing the production of these compounds in good to high yields (60–80%) using proline as the catalyst and ethanol as the solvent. Study of their antioxidant and anti-UV activities revealed that these p-hydroxycinnamic diacids were not only potent radical scavengers but also efficient UV filters exhibiting high photostability.

Apr 01, 2020

Sustainable synthesis and polycondensation of Levoglucosenone‐Cyrene™‐based bicyclic diol monomer: an access to renewable polyesters

Sustainable synthesis and polycondensation of Levoglucosenone‐Cyrene™‐based bicyclic diol monomer: an access to renewable polyesters

The already reported low‐yielding and non‐sustainable Et3N‐mediated homocoupling of levoglucosenone (LGO) into the corresponding LGO‐Cyrene™ diketone has been revisited and greened‐up. Using methanol as both renewable solvent and catalyst and K2CO3 as safe inorganic base, significantly improved the reaction with regards to yield, purification and green aspects. LGO‐Cyrene™ was then subjected to a one‐pot H2O2‐mediated Baeyer‐Villiger oxidation/rearrangement, followed by and acidic hydrolysis to produce a novel sterically hindered bicyclic monomer, 2H‐HBO‐HBO. This diol was further polymerized in bulk with diacyl chlorides to access new promising renewable polyesters that exhibit Tg values from ‐1 to 81 °C and good thermostability (349 °C < Td50% < 406 °C).

Mar 02, 2020

e-Book editorial "From Biomass to Advanced Bio-Based Chemicals & Materials: A Multidisciplinary Perspective"

e-Book editorial

Lignocellulose is the only renewable carbon source that can help replace oil-based chemicals and materials, in the process fighting global warming. However, because of its chemical and structural complexity, lignocellulose transformation into advanced products requires a better understanding of its composition and of its architecture at different scales, as well as a combination of physical, biological, and chemical processes, in order to render this transformation efficient and economically competitive.

Tremendous efforts continue to be made toward the production of ethanol as a biofuel from various lignocellulosic feedstocks. Furthermore, recent successes have been achieved in extracting fibers to prepare composite materials that can compete with plastic fabrics.

Importantly, lignocellulose chemistry can bring to the market original and complex chemicals that can lead to new applications, in particular when exploiting aromatic molecules or oligosaccharides from lignocellulose to produce solvents, surfactants, plasticizers, functional additives for food/feed/cosmetics, drugs, monomers, and polymers. In addition to this broad range of molecular products, fibers and particles fractionated from the lignocellulosic biomass are increasingly used to elaborate bio-based composite materials.

Overall, this Research Topic aims to illustrate how complementary approaches are relevant to address questions regarding the deconstruction of lignocellulose and the processes required to turn them into valuable bio-based and renewable products. Articles are thus welcomed in the field of techniques investigating lignocellulose complexity, the different routes using chemical and/or physical processes to fractionate lignocellulose, as well as which chemicals and materials can be obtained from lignocellulose.

Feb 26, 2020

Simultaneous recovery of ferulic acid and sugars from wheat bran enzymatic hydrolysate by diananofiltration

Simultaneous recovery of ferulic acid and sugars from wheat bran enzymatic hydrolysate by diananofiltration

A new strategy for joint separation of ferulic acid (FA) and sugars from enzymatic hydrolysate of wheat bran was evaluated.

Nanofiltration membranes with molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) in the range 150-800 g mol-1 were studied. Among them, NTR7450 and NTR7470 (Hydranautics) with MWCO between 600 and 800 g mol-1 allowed ferulic acid to be retained and sugars to permeate provided operating pH was maintained at pH >7 and ideally pH 9. In this condition, the negative charge of the membranes and the full ionization of FA conjugate to allow FA retention by electrostatic effects whereas pore size is large enough to allow sugars to permeate. Retentions obtained on model hydrolysate at 10 bar were 85% for FA and 20% for xylose. When processing real hydrolysate, however, sugar retention was more than 40%. During diafiltration, pH decrease in the retentate was observed. Manual addition of concentrated NaOH did not allow to counterbalance completely this decrease and to ensure the optimal pH of 9 in the retentate.

This led to a significative increase in sugar retention, and consequently, sugar removal in the retentate reached only 56% for a diafiltration factor Vd of 4.5. These observations were supported by a diafiltration model with variable retention.

Feb 25, 2020

Biomimetic regioselective and high-yielding Cu(I)-catalyzed dimerization of sinapate esters in green solvent CyreneTM: towards sustainable antioxidant and anti-UV ingredients

Biomimetic regioselective and high-yielding Cu(I)-catalyzed dimerization of sinapate esters in green solvent Cyrene<sup>TM</sup>: towards sustainable antioxidant and anti-UV ingredients

Naturally occurring sinapic acid and its esters are anti-UV and antiradical chemicals. This work aimed at designing an industrially relevant sustainable synthetic pathway allowing their selective β-β’ dimerization to enhance their properties with a view to their use in commercial applications such as functional additives for cosmetics, plastics and food/feed.

A copper(I)-catalyzed procedure involving pyridine and O2 from air was developed and greened up using REACH-compliant bio-based solvent Cyrene™. Optimized further through a Design of Experiments, this sustainable synthetic process was successfully implemented to various sinapate esters and validated at the multigram scale. Antiradical activities of the resulting β-β’ disinapate esters were benchmarked against commercial antioxidants, whereas their UV absorbance was compared to that of a naturally anti-UV in plants and a widely used sunscreen ingredient.

Results showed that these dimers were better radical scavengers, and not only exhibited a better UV absorbance but also covered both UV-A and UV-B regions.

Feb 21, 2020 Jan 27, 2020

Chapter "Bio-based production of chemicals through metabolic engineering" in the book "Biobased Products and Industries" edited by Prof. Charis Galanakis

Chapter

Energy resources are not only one of the most central topics of our century, but also one of the most threatened. Indeed, even though fossil fuels have met the needs for many years, global reserves diminish faster than they regenerate. To address this major issue, alternatives have been found with biofuel production using microorganisms. High efficiency processes have been developed, particularly for bioethanol with productivity up to 125 g/L. However, this chapter focuses on drop-in fuel that can be used directly in current engines and obtained through metabolic engineered microorganisms. Many efforts have been made in this field and research teams were capable of producing biohydrocarbons with concentrations up to ca. 500 mg/L. Yet, these accumulation rates are still insufficient for a profitable process at the industrial scale. This chapter also discusses the bottlenecks and solutions that could allow solving current limitations.

Dec 09, 2019

First Total Synthesis of (β-5)-(β-O-4) Dihydroxytrimer and Dihydrotrimer of Coniferyl Alcohol (G): Advanced Lignin Model Compounds

First Total Synthesis of (β-5)-(β-O-4) Dihydroxytrimer and Dihydrotrimer of Coniferyl Alcohol (G): Advanced Lignin Model Compounds

To investigate lignin degradation, scientists commonly use model compounds. Unfortunately, these models are most of the time simple β-O-4 dimers and do not sufficiently mimic the wide complexity of lignin structure (i.e., aliphatic side chains and robust C-C bonds).

Herein, we present a methodology to access advanced lignin models through the first synthesis of two trimers of monolignol G—possessing side-chains and both robust β-5 bond and labile β-O-4 bond—via a chemo-enzymatic pathway. Key steps were (1) the C-C coupling via laccase-mediated oxidation, (2) the C-O coupling via a simple SN2 between a phenolate and a bromoketoester, and (3) a modified Upjohn dihydroxylation or a palladium-catalyzed hydrogenation. (β-5)-(β-O-4) dihydroxytrimer and dihydrotrimer of coniferyl alcohol (G) were obtained in good global yield, 9 and 20%, respectively, over nine steps starting from ferulic acid.

Dec 03, 2019

(S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide (aka HBO), a Valuable Chiral Synthon: Syntheses, Reactivity and Applications

(S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide (aka HBO), a Valuable Chiral Synthon: Syntheses, Reactivity and Applications

Chirality is greatly sought for pharmaceutical compounds or fragrance and flavors. (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide, aka HBO, is a chiral (5H)-furanone providing a polarized double bond, a lactone ring and a primary alcohol as playground for synthetic chemists. This molecule has been used for forty years in a wide range of synthetic pathways to natural and/or bioactive molecules. Its own synthesis, always from biosourced product, has also significantly evolved and could be now achieved both at large scale and by applying Green Chemistry principles. This review will explore the syntheses, the reactivity and the uses of HBO.

Nov 20, 2019

Identification of microalgae biorefinery scenarios and development of mass and energy balance flowsheets

Identification of microalgae biorefinery scenarios and development of mass and energy balance flowsheets

The notion of bioeconomy is at the basis of recent European strategies aiming at conciliating economic growth and sustainability. Consequently, extensive research has been conducted on biobased solutions such as microalgae products. Numerous initiatives to commercialize microalgae have been launched but few of them were successful. Algae biofuel is the most obvious illustration with its promises as energy supply but faces many challenges to become economically competitive. Consequently, it was recently proposed to develop microalgae biorefineries for an optimal biomass valorisation, to dilute the overall costs within a wide range of products.

Herein, the energy demand for different microalgae biorefinery scenarios is investigated and critical steps identified. Each scenario is modelled using information from literature and process engineering principles. The production of lipids, proteins, methane, fertilizers and dried biomass are considered. Once defined, the scenarios are modelled and their energy inputs are discussed. We also investigate the impact of using a biobased solvent for lipid extraction instead of a conventional one. On top of that, each scenario is assessed for two cells disruption methods.

In both cases, the study starts with dewatering the growth medium of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris (240 kg DW h−1) and ends with the recovery of the products. The results vary from 20.07 to 66.53 MJ kg-1 input DW and highlight the importance of the cell disruption method in the total energy demand. While lipid extraction presents adverse impacts on proteins extraction due to solvent recovery, proteins extraction has beneficial effects on further methane production step. Our study concludes with the comparison of microalgae biomass with soy, for proteins and lipids production, and demonstrates quantitatively that microalgae-based technologies are still inefficient compared to present alternatives.

This work provides quantitative numbers for further evaluation of microalgae projects considering the current stage of the technology.

Oct 19, 2019

Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design

Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design

In plants, sinapate esters offer crucial protection from the deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure. These esters are a promising foundation for designing UV filters, particularly for the UVA region (400 – 315 nm), where adequate photoprotection is currently lacking. Whilst sinapate esters are highly photostable due to a cis-trans(and vice versa) photoisomerization, the cis-isomer can display increased genotoxicity; an alarming concern for current cinnamate ester-based human sunscreens. To eliminate this potentiality, here we synthesize a sinapate ester with equivalent cis- and trans- isomers. We investigate its photostability through innovative ultrafast spectroscopy on a skin mimic, thus modelling the as close to true environment of sunscreen formulas. These studies are complemented by assessing endocrine disruption activity and antioxidant potential. We contest, from our results, that symmetrically functionalized sinapate esters may show exceptional promise as nature-inspired UV filters in next generation sunscreen formulations.

May 14, 2019

Application of Acetyl-CoA synthetase from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus to non-native substrates

Application of Acetyl-CoA synthetase from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus to non-native substrates

The substrate selectivity of the Trp416Gly mutant of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus acetyl-CoA synthetase (Trp416Gly MT-ACS1) was explored. The goal was to identify its substrate range, particularly for functionalized carboxylic acid substrates that would allow post-synthesis functionalization of CoA thioesters or downstream products using metathesis or Click chemistry. Relative activities were determined by in situ formation of acyl-hydroxamate iron (III) complexes. Trp416Gly MT-ACS1 showed good activities for saturated straight chain carboxylic acids from C2 to C8, for ω-alkenyl straight chain carboxylic acids from C4 to C7 and for ω-alkynyl straight chain carboxylic acids from C5 to C7. Carboxylic acids showing ≥20% conversion in screening reactions were used in preparative conversions that completely consumed the added CoASH.

May 02, 2019

Beating of hemp bast fibres: an examination of a hydro-mechanical treatment on chemical, structural, and nanomechanical property evolutions

Beating of hemp bast fibres: an examination of a hydro-mechanical treatment on chemical, structural, and nanomechanical property evolutions

In this study, a gradually increased hydro-mechanical treatments duration were applied to native hemp bast fibres with a traditional pulp and paper beating device (laboratory Valley beater). There is often a trade-off between the treatment applied to the fibres and the effect on their integrity. The multimodal analysis provided an understanding of the beating impact on the fibres at multiple scales and the experimental design made it possible to distinguish the effects of hydro- and hydro-mechanical treatment. Porosity analyses showed that beating treatment doubled the macroporosity and possibly reduced nanoporosity between the cellulose microfibrils.

The beating irregularly extracted the amorphous components known to be preferentially located in the middle lamellae and the primary cell walls rather than in the secondary walls, the overall increasing the crystallinity of cellulose from 49.3 to 59.1%, but a non-significant change in the indentation moduli of the cell wall was observed. In addition, beating treatments with two distinct mechanical severities showed a disorganization of the cellulose conformation, which significant dropped the indention moduli by 11.2 GPa and 8.4 GPa for 10 and 20 min of Valley beater hydro-mechanical treatment, respectively, compared to hydro-treated hemp fibres (16.6 GPa).

Pearson’s correlation coefficients between physicochemical features and the final indentation moduli were calculated. Strong positive correlations were highlighted between the cellulose crystallinity and rhamnose, galactose and mannose as non-cellulosic polysaccharide components of the cell wall.

Apr 19, 2019

Improvement of protein content and decrease of anti-nutritional factors in olive cake by solid-state fermentation: A way to valorize this industrial by-product in animal feed

Improvement of protein content and decrease of anti-nutritional factors in olive cake by solid-state fermentation: A way to valorize this industrial by-product in animal feed

The present work investigates the bioconversion of the olive cake (OC) generated by olive oil industries in Morocco through solid-state fermn. using selected filamentous fungi to increase its nutritional values for subsequent valorization as ruminants feed. The fungi -namely Beauveria bassiana, Fusarium flocciferum, Rhizodiscina cf. lignyota, and Aspergillus niger were cultured on OC for 15 days. Chem. compn. as well as enzymes activities were detd. Results showed (i) an increase in protein content of up to 94% for treated OC and (ii) significant (P < 0.05) decreases of phenolic compds., up to 43%, 70% and 42% for total phenolic content, total flavonoids content, and total condensed tannins, resp. Moreover, the RP-HPLC anal. of fermented OC confirmed the degrdn. of individual phenolic compds. by the strains.

These findings demonstrate that F. flocciferum and Rhizodiscina cf. lignyota are efficient enzymes producers leading to a nutritive enhancement of this byproduct.

Apr 18, 2019

Proline-Mediated Knoevenagel–Doebner Condensation in Ethanol: A Sustainable Access to p-Hydroxycinnamic Acids

Proline-Mediated Knoevenagel–Doebner Condensation in Ethanol: A Sustainable Access to p-Hydroxycinnamic Acids

Naturally occurring p-hydroxycinnamic acids were obtained in good yields (50–85%) using a pyridine/piperidine-free Knoevenagel–Doebner condensation of the corresponding p-hydroxybenzaldehydes with malonic acid in ethanol. This method uses fully renewable and cheap nontoxic reagents and solvents. By combination of a design of experiments (DoE) and a one variable at a time optimization (OVAT), the different reaction parameters were optimized in order to favor p-hydroxycinnamic acids production over that of the two other reaction byproducts, the corresponding diacid and vinylphenol.

Mar 10, 2019

Biobased flavors production Example of the dairy lactone

Biobased flavors production Example of the dairy lactone

Aromatic compounds are ubiquitous molecules responsible for the tastes and scents that surround us. As a result, their production represents a major challenge for the agri-food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical or hygiene and maintenance products industries. There are two main routes of access to these compounds: the biotechnological and the synthetic pathways. Through the example of the dairy lactone, where the different production methods developed are described (including a biobased method from sawdust), it is possible to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each of these pathways.

Mar 04, 2019

Preparation of renewable epoxy-amine resins with tunable thermo-mechanical properties, wettability and degradation abilities from lignocellulose- and plant oils-derived components

Preparation of renewable epoxy-amine resins with tunable thermo-mechanical properties, wettability and degradation abilities from lignocellulose- and plant oils-derived components

100% renewable triphenol - GTF - (glycerol trihydroferulate) and novel bisphenols - GDFx - (glycerol dihydroferulate) were prepared from lignocellulose-derived ferulic acid and vegetal oil components (fatty acids and glycerol) using highly selective lipase-catalyzed transesterifications. Estrogenic activity tests revealed no endocrine disruption for GDFx bisphenols. Triethyl-benzyl-ammonium chloride (TEBAC) mediated glycidylation of all epoxies afforded innocuous bio-based epoxy precursors GDFxEPO and GTF-EPO. GDFxEPO were then cured with conventional and renewable diamines, and some of them in presence of GTF-EPO. Thermo-mechanical analyses (TGA, DSC and DMA) and degradation studies in acidic aqueous solutions of the resulting epoxy-amine resins showed excellent thermal stabilities (Td5% = 282–310 °C), glass-transition temperatures (Tg) ranging from 3 to 62 °C, tunable tan α, and tunable degradability, respectively. It has been shown that the thermo-mechanical properties, wettability and degradability of these epoxy-amine resins can be finely tailored by judiciously selecting the diamine nature, the GTF-EPO content, and the fatty acid chain length.

Feb 12, 2019

Eco-friendly extraction of Sinapine from residues of mustard production

Eco-friendly extraction of Sinapine from residues of mustard production

In this study, our efforts were focused on the optimization of phenolic compounds - mainly sinapine - extraction from residues of industrial mustard production. A preliminary work was conducted to discuss the way data from Folin-Ciocalteu analytical method are reported and exploited in the literature, and to determine whether methanol can be replaced by ethanol as extracting solvent. As this first question had found a positive answer, an optimization of the extraction process on crude and pretreated industrial residue was achieved using a Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Optimal conditions obtained through this Design of Experiments (DoE) allowed the extraction of more than 10 mg/g of defatted and dried matter (aka DDM) of phenolics from defatted and dried matter, and 13 mg/g DDM of phenolics from non-pretreated matter (results expressed as equivalent of DDM).

Feb 12, 2019

Recovery of 3-hydroxypropionic acid from organic phases after reactive extraction with amines in an alcohol-type solvent

Recovery of 3-hydroxypropionic acid from organic phases after reactive extraction with amines in an alcohol-type solvent

Reactive extraction is a well-known method for the recovery of organic acids from dilute streams. The extraction through complex formation with amines is followed by its back-extraction. Their affinity for amine extractants makes their back-extraction a limiting step. The case of 3-hydroxypropionic acid is addressed here. Three methods were compared: salts additions, diluent swing and temperature swing. Mineral bases led to complete 3-HP recovery but as a salt. Diluent swing was tested using n-hexane as the anti–solvent. Results showed that increasing the n-hexane content led to a great increase of 3-HP recovery. However, high recovery yields are associated with high dilutions. The temperature was varied from 4 to 140 °C and it led to a high decrease of the acid-amine complex formation. Our thermochemical study showed an apparent heat of reaction of -25.3 kJ/mol and, at 140 °C, 78% of 3-HP can be recovered in a single step.

Dec 10, 2018

Isolation and Synthesis of One of the Most Central Cofactors in Metabolism: Coenzyme A

Isolation and Synthesis of One of the Most Central Cofactors in Metabolism: Coenzyme A

The isolation and synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA) has been an important field since this cofactor was discovered in 1947. CoA plays a central role in human metabolism and is vital in several metabolic pathways, including fatty acid transport and degradation as well as the biosynthesis of a wide variety of compounds, including fatty acids. The high cost of commercially available CoA ($2600/g with >85% purity) has motivated several research groups tofind alternatives for its production. The variety of strategies that have been investigated for CoA production can be divided in three categories: isolation from microorganisms, total chemical synthesis, and chemoenzymatic synthesis. These approaches provide access to CoA with different efficiencies. For example, direct isolation yields of∼25 mg/kg from dried yeast have been obtained. A variety of microorganisms such as Pseudomonas alkalytica, Sarcina lutea, and Brevibacterium ammoniagenes accumulate CoA in their cultures at levels ranging from 0.03 to 115 mg/mL. Total chemical synthesis yields have ranged between 25 and 54%, and chemo-enzymatic approaches have provided overall yields of ca. 73%. This review covers all published works on producing CoAin order to compare their efficiencies, scalabilities, and convenience.

Dec 05, 2018

High yielding diastereoselective syn‐dihydroxylation of protected HBO: an access to D‐(+)‐ribono‐1,4‐lactone and 5‐O‐protected analogues

A diastereoselective chemo‐enzymatic synthetic pathway to D‐(+)‐ribono‐1,4‐lactone, a versatile chiral sugar derivative widely used for the synthesis of various natural products, has been designed from cellulose‐based levoglucosenone (LGO). This route involves a sustainable Baeyer‐Villiger oxidation of LGO to produce enantiopure (S)‐γ‐hydroxymethyl‐α,β‐butenolide (HBO) that is further functionalized with various protecting groups to provide 5‐O‐protected D‐(+)‐ribono‐1,4‐lactones. The resulting 5‐O‐protected lactones then undergo a diastereoselective and high yielding syn‐dihydroxylation of the α,β‐unsaturated lactone moiety followed by a deprotection step to give D‐(+)‐ribono‐1,4‐lactone. Through this 4‐step synthetic route from LGO, D‐(+)‐ribono‐1,4‐lactone is obtained with d.r. varying from 82:18 to 97:3 and in overall yields between 32 and 41% depending on the protecting group used. Moreover, valuable synthetic intermediates 5‐O‐tert‐butyldimethylsilyl‐, 5‐O‐tert‐butyldiphenylsilyl‐ as well as 5‐O‐benzyl‐ribono‐1,4‐lactones are obtained in 3 steps from LGO in 58, 61 and 40%, respectively.

Nov 22, 2018

Ferulic acid derivatives used as biobased powders for a convenient plasticization of polylactic acid in continuous hot-melt process

Ferulic acid derivatives used as biobased powders for a convenient plasticization of polylactic acid in continuous hot-melt process

Plasticizers are additives used to soften polymers, but most of them are oily or waxy and are difficult to process in a continuous hot-melt process. The plasticizing effect of four functionalized ferulic acid derivatives designed with controlled solubility parameters was investigated upon the study of both the thermal stability and the mechanical properties of polylactic acid (PLA) blends. The synthesized powders were incorporated into PLA through a continuous hot-melt process (extrusion) allowing the derivatives to turn from crystalline to an amorphous state. Such phase transition permitted the derivatives to act as plasticizers, reaching a reduction of the Young's modulus of PLA by 40% for one of the derivatives blended at 20 wt%. Another derivative decreased the glass transition of the PLA from 56.6 °C to 26.3 °C at the same content. These works demonstrate the interest of using phase transition additives to ease the mixing of efficient plasticizers by hot-melt processing.

Nov 22, 2018

High‐Performance Bio‐Based Benzoxazines from Enzymatic Synthesis of Diphenols

This paper reports the preparation, characterization, and performance of three low viscosity fully bio‐based benzoxazine resins synthesized from bio‐based furfurylamine, paraformaldehyde, and three new enzymatic originated diphenols obtained through a sustainable and highly selective lipase‐catalyzed enzymatic process from p‐coumaric acid, and three bio‐based diols (propanediol, butanediol, and isosorbide, respectively). The enzymatic method is used for the first time, to the authors’ knowledge, to design specific diphenolic structures dedicated to the preparation of benzoxazine thermosetting resins whose precursors exhibit easy handling within a wide processing window (from room temperature up to 200 °C). The resulting cross‐linked materials present high glass transition temperature (T g > 200 °C) and inherent charring ability upon pyrolysis (≈50 wt% at 1000 °C). These results open a valuable and new pathway to develop enhanced benzoxazines and bring them new properties.

Nov 09, 2018

Enzymatic reduction of levoglucosenone by an alkene reductase (OYE 2.6): a sustainable metal- and dihydrogen-free access to the bio-based solvent Cyrene®

Enzymatic reduction of levoglucosenone by an alkene reductase (OYE 2.6): a sustainable metal- and dihydrogen-free access to the bio-based solvent Cyrene®

Levoglucosenone (LGO) has been successfully converted into the green polar aprotic solvent 2H-LGO (aka Cyrene®) through an enzymatic process involving alkene reductases: wild-type Old Yellow Enzyme 2.6 (OYE 2.6 wt.) from Pichia stipitis and its mutant (OYE 2.6 Tyr78Trp) present the best conversion rates. This enzymatic process has been optimized in order to avoid the formation of the side-product (1R,2S)-2-hydroxy-6,8-dioxabicyclo[3.2.1]octan-4-one (OH-LGO) and reach total conversion (99%). Cyrene® was then successfully isolated by continuous extraction in quantitative yield (99%).

Oct 26, 2018

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Renewable Sterically-Hindered Phenolic Antioxidants with Tunable Polarity from Lignocellulose and Vegetal Oil Components

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Renewable Sterically-Hindered Phenolic Antioxidants with Tunable Polarity from Lignocellulose and Vegetal Oil Components

Despite their great antioxidant activities, the use of natural phenols as antioxidant additives for polyolefins is limited owing to their weak thermal stability and hydrophilic character. Herein, we report a sustainable chemo-enzymatic synthesis of renewable lipophilic antioxidants specifically designed to overcome these restrictions using naturally occurring ferulic acid (found in lignocellulose) and vegetal oils (i.e., lauric, palmitic, stearic acids, and glycerol) as starting materials. A predictive Hansen and Hildebrand parameters-based approach was used to tailor the polarity of newly designed structures. A specific affinity of Candida antarctica lipase B (CAL-B) towards glycerol was demonstrated and exploited to efficiently synthesized the target compounds in yields ranging from 81 to 87%. Antiradical activity as well as radical scavenging behavior (H atom-donation, kinetics) of these new fully biobased additives were found superior to that of well-established, commercially available fossil-based antioxidants such as Irganox 1010® and Irganox 1076®. Finally, their greater thermal stabilities (302 < Td5% < 311 °C), established using thermal gravimetric analysis, combined with their high solubilities and antioxidant activities, make these novel sustainable phenolics a very attractive alternative to current fossil-based antioxidant additives in polyolefins.

Oct 25, 2018

Chemo-enzymatic synthesis and free radical polymerization of renewable acrylate monomers from cellulose-based lactones

Chemo-enzymatic synthesis and free radical polymerization of renewable acrylate monomers from cellulose-based lactones

A chemo-enzymatic pathway involving a Candida antarctica type B lipase was developed to produce (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide methacrylate (HBO-m) and (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butyrolactone methacrylate (2H-HBO-m) from (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butyrolactone (HBO), a biobased molecule obtained from cellulose-derived levoglucosenone. The acrylated monomer was then co-polymerized through a free radical process with methacrylamide and methylene-γ-valerolactone, a green intermediate. Finally, methylene-tetrahydropyranyl (S)- γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butyrolactone (M-THP-2H-HBO), synthetized via α-methylenation of 2H-HBO, was copolymerized with methyl methacrylate to access copolyacrylates exhibiting high glass transition temperatures.

Oct 08, 2018

Towards an In Situ Product Recovery of bio‐based 3‐hydroxypropionic acid: influence of bioconversion broth components on membrane‐assisted reactive extraction

Towards an In Situ Product Recovery of bio‐based 3‐hydroxypropionic acid: influence of bioconversion broth components on membrane‐assisted reactive extraction

Bioconversion broths are complex media with microorganisms that convert substrates into products in the presence of salts and nitrogen sources and that may release biomolecules. This paper deals with the impact of bioconversion broth components on the membrane‐based reactive extraction of 3‐hydroxypropionic acid (3‐HP), by tri‐n‐octylamine (TOA) in n‐decanol in preparation for an in‐situ product recovery. We focus here on the influence of 3‐HP concentration (0.5 – 10 g/L), initial pH of the solution (3 – 5), presence of proteins and salts on the extraction yields and kinetics.

Oct 06, 2018

Higher Levels of Exhaled Dimethylcyclopropane in Patients with Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth, Periodontitis when Associated with a Medical History of Cancer

Higher Levels of Exhaled Dimethylcyclopropane in Patients with Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth, Periodontitis when Associated with a Medical History of Cancer

Periodontitis (PO) is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Breath test is routinely used for detection of Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO). Specific Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) may firstly enable early non-invasive detection of cancers and secondly be markers of specific bacteria.

Sep 19, 2018

Microwave-Assisted Knoevenagel-Doebner Reaction: An Efficient Method for Naturally Occurring Phenolic Acids Synthesis

Microwave-Assisted Knoevenagel-Doebner Reaction: An Efficient Method for Naturally Occurring Phenolic Acids Synthesis

The common chemical method to synthesize Phenolic Acids (PAs) involves a relatively considerable energy intake. In order to solve this issue, microwave-assisted Knoevenagel-Doebner condensations were developed. Nevertheless, these synthetic procedures prove difficult to reproduce. Herein, we developed and optimized—by using a combination of a Design of Experiment and a standard optimization approach—a reliable procedure that converts naturally occurring p-hydroxybenzaldehydes into the corresponding PAs with conversions of 86–99% and in 85–97% yields.

Sep 01, 2018

Development of potential yield loss indicators to assess the effect of seaweed farming on fish landings

Development of potential yield loss indicators to assess the effect of seaweed farming on fish landings

In recent years, several indicators have been proposed to assess the effect of human activities on ecosystems provisioning capacity. Some of these methods focus on the Net Primary Production (NPP) available for ecosystem functioning through the comparison between the Human Appropriated Net Primary Production (HANPP) and the ecosystem's initial NPP at a given reference year. While some approaches have been proposed for marine ecosystems, most of the HANPP studies focus on terrestrial systems. This study highlights the relation between the HANPP methods and the production of natural resources in marine ecosystems. The linkage between current overfishing and future fish provisioning (ecosystem service) is well known. However, less studied before, is the relation between seaweed aquaculture and fish provisioning through the marine food web. Seaweed growth requires nutrients and light that will consequently be no longer available for natural phytoplankton production. As seaweed is periodically harvested, a fraction of the ecosystem's NPP (HANPP) is no longer available for ecosystem production. The HANPP of aquaculture reduces the ecosystem carrying capacity and thus affects commercial fish stocks. Therefore, an integrative approach is proposed in this study to assess the potential effect of seaweed farming on fish landings in the Greater North Sea. Three indicators are proposed to assess the Lost Potential Yield (LPY) in fish landings: LPYB, LPYV and LPYE, accounting respectively for reduction in biomass, monetary value and eco-exergy. For these three aspects, the LPY results remains smaller than the seaweed production, meaning that the overall natural resources balance for seaweed farming is positive.

Aug 31, 2018

Detoxification of highly acidic hemicellulosic hydrolysate from wheat straw by diananofiltration with a focus on phenolic compounds

Detoxification of highly acidic hemicellulosic hydrolysate from wheat straw by diananofiltration with a focus on phenolic compounds

Nanofiltration was studied for detoxification of lignocellulose hydrolysates obtained in harsh conditions. A hemicellulosic hydrolysate obtained from sulfuric acid steam explosion of wheat straw and presenting very low pH (= 1) and high osmotic pressure (28 bar) was studied and 8 inhibitory compounds were followed, among which 4 phenolic compounds. Several polymeric nanofiltration membranes were compared for separation performances and permeabilities; DK membrane (GE Osmonics) proved suitable with high rejection of sugars (> 99%) and lower rejections of inhibitors. Acetic acid and furfural were quasi-fully transmitted whereas the rejection of compounds ranked as follow: HMF (5-hydroxymethyl-furfural) < coumaric acid < levulinic acid < vanillin < ferulic acid < syringaldehyde with values of 40%, 50%, 60%, 80%, 90% and 98%, respectively, at a permeate flux of 14 L h−1 m−2. Diafiltration was carried out at a transmembrane pressure of 26 bar until 3 DV (Diafiltration Volume) to complete detoxification, and continuous and sequential-dilution modes were compared. Thanks to the permeability of the membrane to the monovalent form of sulfuric acid HSO4-, effective transmembrane pressure was increased and pH reached 2. At 3 DV, both modes showed removal performances between 92% (acetic acid and furfural) and 25% (syringaldehyde). Irreversible fouling was observed, leading to 30% permeability loss after diafiltration.

Jun 27, 2018

Importance of mediators for lignin degradation by fungal laccase

Importance of mediators for lignin degradation by fungal laccase

Three of the major ligninolytic enzymes – lignin peroxidase (LiP), manganese peroxidase (MnP) and laccase (LA) – as well as the secretome of a white-rot fungi – Grammothele fuligo– are tested on three industrial lignins (organosolv, alkali and Kraft), to investigate and study the differences in biodegradation reactions and mechanism of these three lignins. Strategies involving additives in laccase mediated systems were also considered to produce small phenolic compounds. Three new or underreported additives including 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol (TTBP), 4-tert-butyl-2,6-di-methylphenol (TBDMP), and 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (HAA), are compared to three classic laccase mediators violuric acid (VA), 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (1-HBT). Decrease of molecular weight by up to 73 % could be obtained on organosolv lignin with LA-VA systems, and 49 %, 43 % and 39 % when LA was used with ABTS, TBDMP and 1-HBT, respectively. In-depth analysis of the degradation products by quantitative 2D HMQC NMR indicated that the oxidation is mediator-dependant and provides new insights on the enzymatic mechanism.

May 08, 2018

Gas‐Solution Phase Transient Absorption Study of the Plant Sunscreen Derivative Methyl Sinapate

The plant sunscreen derivative methyl sinapate is studied in the gas‐ and solution‐phase as an important step in understanding the structure‐dynamics‐function relationship of plant sunscreens such as sinapoyl malate. Results from gas‐phase experiments suggest a three step deactivation process after photoexcitation. Photoexcitation to the S1 state results in internal vibrational energy redistribution within 3 ps. Intersystem crossing then occurs in 30 ps between S1 and T1 and the latter state then persists outside our probe window (urn:x-wiley:23670932:media:cptc201800060:cptc201800060-math-0001 1 ns). In solution with the weakly perturbing solvent cyclohexane, a dramatic change in the photophysical properties is observed. A trans‐cis isomerisation is observed to occur in 3 ps via a 1urn:x-wiley:23670932:media:cptc201800060:cptc201800060-math-0002 /S0 conical intersection. The population which does not complete the isomerisation, relaxes via vibrational energy transfer to the solvent in 9 ps. A long‐lived photoproduct is then observed to persist and is identified as the cis‐isomer.

Mar 19, 2018

Organic solvent- and catalyst-free Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of levoglucosenone and dihydrolevoglucosenone (Cyrene): a sustainable route to (S)-y-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide and (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-γ-butyrolactone

Organic solvent- and catalyst-free Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of levoglucosenone and dihydrolevoglucosenone (Cyrene): a sustainable route to (S)-y-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide and (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-γ-butyrolactone

A straightforward and sustainable route to (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butenolide (HBO) and (S)-γ-hydroxymethyl-α,β-butyrolactone (2H-HBO), two valuable chemical platforms for the synthesis of fine chemicals such as drugs, pheromones, flavors and fragrances, has been optimized using renewable cellulose-based levoglucosenone (LGO) and Cyrene® as starting materials and aqueous H2O2 as both a solvent and an oxidizing agent. Combined with short-path distillation, this procedure provides enantiopure HBO and 2H-HBO in yield as high as 72% at the kilo scale.

Feb 20, 2018

Enzymatic synthesis of resveratrol α-glycosides from β-cyclodextrin-resveratrol complex in water

Enzymatic synthesis of resveratrol α-glycosides from β-cyclodextrin-resveratrol complex in water

Although resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-stilbene) is one of the most studied natural product because of its biological properties such as antioxidant or anticancer, its low water solubility and stability (influenced by pH, light and increased temperature), as well as its propensity to oligomerize, limit its bioavailability and applications in nutraceutic, cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. Besides, resveratrol production at the multigram scale through vine cell culture is limited by the tedious extraction of pure resveratrol from the bioconversion medium due to its complexation by cyclodextrins, the latter being used as elicitors in the bioproduction process.

In this work, we have been able to overcome all these drawbacks by performing a single organic solvent-free enzymatic α-glycosylation directly from the β-cyclodextrin-resveratrol complex in water using β-cyclodextrin as glycoside-donor. The combined effects of five parameters (CGTase amount, cyclodextrin amount, cyclodextrin/resveratrol ratio, pH and temperature) were studied by design of experiments (DoE) to maximize the glycosylation yield. The optimal setting point of parameters was obtained by response surface methodology (RSM). After optimization, an efficient α-glycosylation was performed being obtained 35% of molar yield.

The major glycosides - two mono-glycosides: 3-O-α-D-glucosyl-resveratrol and 4'-O-α-D-glucosyl-resveratrol and two di-glycosides: 3-O-α-D-maltosyl-resveratrol and 4'-O-α-D-maltosyl-resveratrol - were characterized using a hyphenated liquid chromatography-solid phase extraction-nuclear magnetic resonance system, then separated and purified using Centrifugal Partition chromatography (CPC). Their antiradical properties, as well as that of their crude mixture, were evaluated through DPPH analysis. Results confirmed that the position 4'-OH is the best position for the glycosylation to maintain the highest antiradical properties.

Feb 14, 2018

Recovering ferulic acid from wheat bran enzymatic hydrolysate by a novel and non-thermal process associating weak anion-exchange and electrodialysis

Recovering ferulic acid from wheat bran enzymatic hydrolysate by a novel and non-thermal process associating weak anion-exchange and electrodialysis

Agricultural by-products such as wheat bran and straw are rich in arabinoxylans. Composed of a main chain of β-(1,4) linked xylose ramified by arabinose and ferulic acid, these polymers are sources of valuable molecules, in particular ferulic acid and monomeric (xylose, arabinose and glucose) and oligomeric carbohydrates. Enzymatic hydrolysis using hemicellulasic cocktails obtained from Thermobacillus xylanilyticus provide an eco-friendly alternative to acid or alkaline deconstruction.

In this article, downstream purification of the enzymatic hydrolysate of wheat bran with a weak anion-exchange resin (Amberlyst A21- Dow) in free-base form was studied and optimized to reach concentrated ferulate fractions in environment-friendly conditions. A demineralization step by homopolar electrodialysis prior to anion-exchange allowed most of the competing inorganic anions to be removed from the hydrolysate. The capacity of fixation of ferulic acid on the active sites of the resin was increased, as well as purity and concentration of the basic eluate, consequently.

Ferulic acid could therefore be crystallized by adjusting the pH of the eluate. 83% was crystallized and purity (NMR) reached 90-95%. At last, 52% of ferulic acid released from wheat bran by the hemicellulasic cocktail was purified and recovered as a solid. Moreover, more than 50 BV (Bed Volume) of the hydrolysate could be recovered during the resin saturation step as rather pure carbohydrates under monomeric (xylose, arabinose and glucose) and oligomeric (xylobiose, xylotriose and xylotetraose) form.

Jan 02, 2018

Investigating isomer specific photoprotection in a model plant sunscreen

Investigating isomer specific photoprotection in a model plant sunscreen

Sinapate esters are used throughout the plant kingdom, for example in photoprotection from ultraviolet radiation. Sinapate esters are naturally produced in their E-isomeric form; however, upon exposure to ultraviolet radiation, photoisomerization drives Z-isomer formation. To elucidate the photoprotection capacity of E vs. Z forms of sinapate esters, we explore the photochemistry of the model system, Z-ethyl sinapate. Following a novel Z-ethyl sinapate synthesis, we demonstrate that photoprotection is isomer independent. This suggests that, regarding photoprotection, there were no evolutionary pressures for biosynthesis of either isomer.

Dec 22, 2017

Biocatalytic Synthesis and Polymerization via ROMP of New Biobased Phenolic Monomers: A Greener Process toward Sustainable Antioxidant Polymers

Biocatalytic Synthesis and Polymerization via ROMP of New Biobased Phenolic Monomers: A Greener Process toward Sustainable Antioxidant Polymers

Antioxidant norbornene-based monomers bearing biobased sterically hindered phenols (SHP) - NDF (norbornene dihydroferulate) and NDS (norbornene dihydrosinapate) - have been successfully prepared through biocatalysis from naturally occurring ferulic and sinapic acids, respectively, in presence of Candida antarctica Lipase B (Cal-B). The ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of these monomers was investigated according to ruthenium catalyst type (GI) vs. (HGII) and monomer to catalyst molar ratio ([M]/[C]). The co-polymerization of antioxidant functionalized monomer (NDF or NDS) and non-active norbornene (N) has also been performed in order to adjust the number of SHP groups present per weight unit and tune the antioxidant activity of the copolymers. The polydispersity of the resulting copolymers was readily improved by a simple acetone wash to provide antioxidant polymers with well-defined structures. After hydrogenation with p-toluenesulfonylhydrazine (p-TSH), the radical scavenging ability of the resulting saturated polymers was evaluated using α,α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) analysis. Results demonstrated that polymers bearing sinapic acid SHP exhibited higher antiradical activity than the polymer bearing ferulic acid SHP. In addition it was also shown that only a small SHP content was needed in the copolymers to exhibit a potent antioxidant activity.

Oct 10, 2017

A microstructural and chemical approach to highlight how a simple methyl group affects the mechanical properties of a natural fibers composite

A microstructural and chemical approach to highlight how a simple methyl group affects the mechanical properties of a natural fibers composite

Two ferulic acid derivatives (BDF and BDF-Me) were prepared using chemo-enzymatic synthesis and used as additives for the pretreatment of hemp fibers. Incorporation of these fibers into a polycaprolactone matrix by hot-melt extrusion process aimed to improve the dispersion of the fibers and the mechanical properties of the resulting materials. Young's modulus and tensile strength of the composites were investigated at the micrometer scale by chemical imaging. The very simple methylation of the phenolic functions led to significant mechanical properties differences due to the dispersion of the fibers caused by a plasticizing effect of the ferulic acid derivative. This significant plasticizing effect of BDF-Me is observed at a content as low as 0.8 w% and opens the way for synthesizing a new family of biobased plasticizers involving transition from crystal state to amorphous phase.

Aug 24, 2017

Isocyanate-free synthesis and characterization of renewable poly(hydroxy)urethanes from syringaresinol

Isocyanate-free synthesis and characterization of renewable poly(hydroxy)urethanes from syringaresinol

In a context of replacement of petro-sourced and toxic bisphenol-A (BPA), syringaresinol, a naturally occurring bisphenol deriving from sinapic acid, has been proposed as a greener and safer alternative. This work focuses on its applications for Non-Isocyanate PolyUrethanes (NIPUs) synthesis. A five-membered cyclic carbonate SYR-CC has been prepared by carbon dioxide addition to bis-epoxy monomer SYR-EPO derived from syringaresinol. Upon polyaddition of SYR-CC with different biosourced and petrosourced diamines, the resulting polyhydroxyurethanes were fully characterized by structural analyses (FT-IR, 1H NMR, HPLC-SEC), and thermal analyses (TGA, DSC). These thermoplastics displayed high molar mass ((Mn) ̅ = 5.4 kg.mol-1), excellent thermal stabilities (Td5% = 267-281 °C) and glass transition temperatures (Tg) ranging from 63 to 98 °C. Complementary, the coupling of SYR-CC with a triamine gave a thermoset material with interesting Tg (62 °C) and high thermal stability (Td5% = 225 °C).

Aug 05, 2017

Mechanistic modeling and equilibrium prediction of the reactive extraction of organic acids with amines: a comparative study of two complexation-solvation models using 3-hydroxypropionic acid

Mechanistic modeling and equilibrium prediction of the reactive extraction of organic acids with amines: a comparative study of two complexation-solvation models using 3-hydroxypropionic acid

A comprehensive study of equilibrium states involved in the reactive extraction of 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) by tri-n-octylamine (TOA) in n-decanol is described. Complexation phenomena between 3-HP and TOA were revealed by infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). This study demonstrated that the main extraction mechanism is the formation of an ion pair involving the dissociated form of 3-HP.

Chemical models were then formulated, taking the formation of the ion pair between 3-HP and TOA and the influence of the amount of solvent in the organic phase into account. Two models are proposed: (1) a stoichiometric model where the solvent is seen as a reagent that is involved in the complexation as a synergistic extractant, but with competition for solvation via H-bond interactions with TOA; (2) a model where the solvent is seen as a phase modifier that improves the physicochemical properties of the extractant and that changes the complexation equilibrium. Both models describe the extraction yields in the investigated ranges, with Model (2) being particularly predictive since it provides a mean absolute prediction error of less than 2% in yield units. According to this latter model, the complexation equilibrium coefficient increases with the increase of the n-decanol proportion in the organic phase. Model (2) shows that solvation effects are better described as non-stoichiometric interactions.

Therefore, the two mechanistic models accurately represent extraction yields over a wide range of initial conditions and are potentially transposable to other reactive extraction systems. Such knowledge is essential for further implementation of downstream processes.

Jul 11, 2017

Lignocellulosic fibers: a critical review of the extrusion process for enhancement of the properties of natural fiber composites

Lignocellulosic fibers: a critical review of the extrusion process for enhancement of the properties of natural fiber composites

Natural fiber composites have various applications, since they can bring interesting mechanical and sustainability properties. Extrusion with a single- or twin-screw is the main industrial process to incorporate lignocellulosic fibers into polymers. In this review, the origin and preparation of lignocellulosic fibers are first presented, before discussing the composite processing, with a particular emphasis on the impact of process conditions on the composites final properties that is highly related to the final application. A broad panel of composites reinforced with lignocellulosic fibers is reviewed along with their polymeric matrix, lignocellulosic fiber type and pretreatments, and extrusion process conditions. Finally, the most critical extrusion process parameters (screw profile, speed and temperature) are also examined in order to determine some guidelines to optimize lignocellulosic fiber composites preparation.

Jul 10, 2017

Elucidating nuclear motions in a plant sunscreen during photoisomerization through solvent viscosity effects

Elucidating nuclear motions in a plant sunscreen during photoisomerization through solvent viscosity effects

We explore the effects of solvent viscosity on trans-cis photoisomerization of sinapoyl malate, which is utilized as a sunscreen molecule in plants. Our results demonstrate that viscosity has a signifcant effect on the timescale for isomerization, providing insight into the nuclear motions involved. The ramifications of these finding are discussed with reference to sinapoyl malate’s in vivo photoprotection properties.

Jul 06, 2017

Wheat and Sugar Beet Coproducts for the Bioproduction of 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid by Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938

Wheat and Sugar Beet Coproducts for the Bioproduction of 3-Hydroxypropionic Acid by <i>Lactobacillus reuteri</i>  DSM17938

An experimental design based on Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was used for the formulation of a growth medium based on sugar beet and wheat processing coproducts adapted to the cultivation of Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) DSM17938. The strain was cultivated on 30 different media varying by the proportions of sugar beet and wheat processing coproducts, and the concentration of yeast extract, tween 80 and vitamin B12. The media were used in a two-step process consisting of L. reuteri cultivation followed by the bioconversion of glycerol into 3-hydroxypropionic acid by resting cells. The efficiency of the formulations was evaluated according to the maximal optical density at the end of the growth phase (ΔOD620nm) and the ability of the resting cells to convert glycerol into 3-hydroxypropionic acid, a platform molecule of interest for the plastic industry. De Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe medium (MRS), commonly used for the cultivation of lactic bacteria, was used as the control medium. The optimized formulation allowed increasing the 3-HP production.

May 16, 2017

A novel and integrative process: From enzymatic fractionation of wheat bran with a hemicellulasic cocktail to the recovery of ferulic acid by weak anion exchange resin

A novel and integrative process: From enzymatic fractionation of wheat bran with a hemicellulasic cocktail to the recovery of ferulic acid by weak anion exchange resin

An integrated and eco-friendly process including enzymatic hydrolysis with a hemicellulasic cocktail and a chromatographic purification step was developed to obtain ferulic acid from wheat bran. Thermobacillus xylanilyticus, a thermophilic and hemicellulolytic bacterium, was able to produce enzymatic cocktails containing xylanase, xylosidase, arabinosidase and esterase activities. The cocktails produced were used to deconstruct destarched wheat bran, allowing the release of 6%, 20% and 37% (w/w) of monomeric arabinose, xylose and ferulic acid, respectively. A weak anionic resin under free-base form was proved successful to separate the carbohydrate fraction from the ferulate one after acidification. Ferulate was recovered at high concentration (15 g/L) during regeneration of the resin. This non-optimized purification step allowed recovering 67% of ferulic acid fixed on the resin. Global recovery of ferulic acid contained in wheat bran after both enzymatic fractionation and purification stages reached 21.8%.

Apr 18, 2017

Conversion of Glycerol to 3-Hydroxypropanoic Acid by Genetically Engineered Bacillus subtilis

Conversion of Glycerol to 3-Hydroxypropanoic Acid by Genetically Engineered <i>Bacillus subtilis</i>

3-Hydroxypropanoic acid (3-HP) is an important biomass-derivable platform chemical that can be converted into a number of industrially relevant compounds. There have been several attempts to produce 3-HP from renewable sources in cell factories, focusing mainly on Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Despite the significant progress made in this field, commercially exploitable large-scale production of 3-HP in microbial strains has still not been achieved. In this study, we investigated the potential of Bacillus subtilis as a microbial platform for bioconversion of glycerol into 3-HP. Our recombinant B. subtilis strains overexpress the two-step heterologous pathway containing glycerol dehydratase and aldehyde dehydrogenase from K. pneumoniae. Genetic engineering, driven by in silico optimization, and optimization of cultivation conditions resulted in a 3-HP titer of 10 g/L, in a standard batch cultivation. Our findings provide the first report of successful introduction of the biosynthetic pathway for conversion of glycerol into 3-HP in B. subtilis. With this relatively high titer in batch, and the robustness of B. subtilis in high density fermentation conditions, we expect that our production strains may constitute a solid basis for commercial production of 3-HP.

Mar 13, 2017

From bench scale to kilolab production of renewable ferulic acid-based bisphenols: optimisation and evaluation of different purification approaches towards technical feasibility and process environmental sustainability

From bench scale to kilolab production of renewable ferulic acid-based bisphenols: optimisation and evaluation of different purification approaches towards technical feasibility and process environmental sustainability

In earlier authors work, a new class of non-toxic and renewable bisphenols able to substitute bisphenol A and exhibiting potent antioxidant and antiradical activities has been prepared from ferulic acid through a chemoenzymatic pathways at bench scale. Scaling-up a process is not always trivial and straightforward. Technical feasibility of synthesis and overall process yield must be assessed. All decisions should be justified regarding technical constraints and environmental sustainability. This work is focused on the kilolab production of bis-O-dihydroferuloyl 1,4-butanediol (BDF), one of these very promising renewable bisphenols. Recrystallization and organic diananofiltration in a single stage (SSD) and two stages (TSD) were compared taking into account the previous considerations.

As result, the synthesis and purification of BDF by recrystallization were successfully scaled-up at kilolab scale, being obtained a significant improvement in the overall yield (from 63% at labscale to 84% at kilolab scale) for a purity grade of 95%. To assess the organic diananofiltration as an alternative purification method, a set of 6 commercial organic solvent resistant membranes were evaluated. Starting from a solution (1 g/L) containing 80%(w/w) of BDF and 20% (w/w) of an excess reagent (ethyl dihydroferulate, EtDFe), GMT-oNF1 membrane showed to be able to discriminate them. A two-stage membrane diafiltration (TSD) in cascade was proposed, being observed a drastic increase in the product yield (from 77% in a single stage to 95%) without compromising its final purity (95%). Since solvent recycling has a significant impact on the process sustainability, a nanofiltration step for solvent recovery was assessed, . 90% of the solvent was recovered with a level of impurities lower than 1%. Recrystallization and all filtration-based processes were compared in terms of green metrics such as mass and solvent intensity and energy consumption.

Results showed that only the integration of solvent recycling in filtration-based processes and the use of a concentrated starting solution (150 g/L instead of 1 g/L) may lead to similar magnitude values observed for recrystallization. Thus, even being a less energetic intensive process (4-fold), the TSD is still a solvent intensive process (3-fold), which is inevitably reflected in a higher environmental footprint (evaluated by LCA).

Feb 24, 2017

Towards an extractive bioconversion of 3-hydroxypropionic acid: study of inhibition phenomena

Towards an extractive bioconversion of 3-hydroxypropionic acid: study of inhibition phenomena

3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) microbial synthesis through glycerol bioconversion by Lactobacillus reuteri is at the moment characterized by too low performances to consider production at industrial scale. To avoid its toxic accumulation in the medium and to recover this molecule of interest, 3-HP in situ reactive extraction from bioconversion broth was investigated using a hollow fiber membrane contactor (HFMC) in order to intensify its production. The so-called integrated system was compared with the conventional bioconversion system. The impact of the extractive bioconversion on the overall production performance and on cell physiological state was studied. Results underlined drastic inhibitory effects on the producing bacteria, especially under extractive bioconversion conditions despite the use of a HFMC supposed to avoid direct contact between organic phase and bacteria. Indeed, the extractant phase components (trioctylamine in n-decanol) were found to be toxic for the cells (due to solubility and by direct contact). These phenomena were increased by the presence of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (3-HPA) and 3-HP produced during glycerol bioconversion. These cumulative effects induced a complete loss of the cell membrane integrity and esterase activity after 1.5 h of extractive bioconversion. When the bioconversion was conducted alone, the bacterial inhibition was lower, as around 50% of L. reuteri cells remained active with unaltered membrane after 3 h. Hypotheses concerning the mechanisms of action of the observed inhibitions were proposed and discussed. This work highlighted the importance of performing such an integrative approach to address specific questions prior to the optimization of the whole process.

Feb 08, 2017

Ultrafast Barrierless Photoisomerization and Strong UV Absorption of Photoproducts in Plant Sunscreens

Ultrafast Barrierless Photoisomerization and Strong UV Absorption of Photoproducts in Plant Sunscreens

We study the photoprotectivemechanisms of sinapoyl malate and sinapic acid in aqueous solution by utilizing femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and time-dependent density functional theory.We find that excited ππ* states of the two molecules relax to the ground states via a barrierless trans-cis photoisomerizationin a few tens of picoseconds. The formation of cis-photoproducts largely reduces the efficacy of sinapic acid as a sunscreen. In contrast,the efficacy ofthe plant sunscreen sinapoyl malate is affected slightly due to the strong UVabsorption of its cis isomer.

Jan 03, 2017

Syringaresinol: a renewable and safer alternative to Bisphenol A for epoxy-amine resins

Syringaresinol: a renewable and safer alternative to Bisphenol A for epoxy-amine resins

A renewable bis-epoxy, SYR-EPO, has been prepared from syringaresinol, a naturally occurring bisphenol deriving from sinapic acid, using a chemo-enzymatic synthetic pathway. Estrogenic activity test revealed no endocrine disruption for syringaresinol. Its glycidylation afforded bis-epoxy SYR-EPO with excellent yield and purity. This biobased safer epoxy precursor was then cured with conventional and renewable diamines for the preparation of epoxy-amine resins. The resulting thermosets were thermally and mechanically characterized (TGA, DSC and DMA). Thermal analyses of these new resins showed excellent thermal stabilities (Td5% = 279-309 °C) and Tg ranging from 73 to 126 °C, almost reaching the properties of those obtained with DiGlycidylEther of Bisphenol A (DGEBA), extensively used in polymer industry (Td5% = 319 °C and Tg = 150 °C for DGEBA-IPDA resins). Degradation studies in NaOH and HCl aqueous solutions also highlighted the robustness of the syringaresinol-based resins, similar to bisphenol A (BPA). All these results undoubtedly confirmed the potential of syringaresinol as a greener and safer substitute to BPA.

Dec 16, 2016

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis and Characterization of Renewable Thermoplastic and Thermoset Isocyanate-Free Poly(hydroxy)urethanes from Ferulic Acid Derivatives

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis and Characterization of Renewable Thermoplastic and Thermoset Isocyanate-Free Poly(hydroxy)urethanes from Ferulic Acid Derivatives

This study presents the syntheses and characterization of renewable non-isocyanate polyurethanes from a new family of aromatic C5-cyclocarbonate precursors with different functionalities obtained from non-toxic ferulic acid derivatives by glycidylation and carbonation under high carbon dioxide pressure. Depending on the functionality, linear NIPU chains (thermoplastics) or cross-linked NIPU networks (thermosets) have been obtained. The thermoplastics NIPU molar masses were determined using SEC and 1H-NMR. The thermal and thermo-mechanical properties of the NIPUs were assessed by DSC, DMA (for thermosets), and TGA to determine the influence of the NIPU chemical structure on its properties. The range of Tg obtained (17 - 72 °C) was efficiently correlated with the degree of freedom and the molar mass of the NIPU repeat unit.

Dec 05, 2016

Exploring the microstructure of natural fibre composites by confocal Raman imaging and image analysis

Exploring the microstructure of natural fibre composites by confocal Raman imaging and image analysis

We describe a combination of Confocal Raman Imaging (CRI) and quantitative image analysis to characterise biocomposite material microstructures. Both techniques offer lateral resolutions close to 1.3 μm and axial resolution of 13 μm, while simplifying sample preparation to hand-cutting without any surface preparation. Extruded and injected polycaprolactone/hemp fibre composites were used as demonstration biocomposites. A green macrobisphenol additive (bis-O-dihydroferuloyl-1,4-butanediol) was also used as a chemical probe to characterise the dispersion efficiency of additives, with a detection threshold of 2.3 wt% above which very local heterogeneity can be determined by this technique. CRI provided microstructure information for the entire binary structure formed by the fibre network. The fibre dispersion and orientation depend on their location in the matrix, and the specific surface of the fibres increases with the fibre content as aggregates start to develop. The technique also highlighted a possible core-skin effect in the injected composite

Oct 15, 2016

Ferulic acid-based renewable esters and amides-containing epoxy thermosets from wheat bran and beetroot pulp: Chemo-enzymatic synthesis and thermo-mechanical properties characterization

Ferulic acid-based renewable esters and amides-containing epoxy thermosets from wheat bran and beetroot pulp: Chemo-enzymatic synthesis and thermo-mechanical properties characterization

In this study, ferulic acid – a natural phenolic acid present in bagasse, wheat and rice brans, and beetroot pulp – was used as renewable starting material to prepare new biobased epoxy precursors. This biobased building block was first esterified then reduced to provide ethyl dihydroferulate which was then trans-esterified/amidified with biobased diols, triol and diamines. Immobilized Candida antarctica (aka CAL-B or Novozyme 435®) was used to perform the solvent-free-transesterification/amidation under mild conditions. The phenolic architectures synthesized were then glycidylated using a TEBAC-mediated procedure to afford four biobased epoxy precursors – with various linker structures between the ferulic units – which were then cured with conventionnal and biobased diamine curing agents. The thermal and thermomechanical properties of the thermosets prepared were assessed by TGA, DSC and DMA to highlight the influence of the linker configuration (aliphatic vs cycloaliphatic), that of the epoxy functionality (di vs tri), and that of the nature of the function used for coupling ferulic units (ester vs amide) on the thermosets properties. Analyses of these thermosets revealed glass transition temperatures ranging from 32 to 85 °C and high thermal stabilities around 300 °C. The mechanical behavior of the biobased thermosets proved equivalent to that of the DGEBA-IPDA reference sytem at low temperatures (up to 40–100 °C depending on the epoxy precursor and diamine).

Sep 16, 2016

Ferulic Acid-Based Bis/Trisphenols as Renewable Antioxidants for Polypropylene and Poly(butylene succinate)

Ferulic Acid-Based Bis/Trisphenols as Renewable Antioxidants for Polypropylene and Poly(butylene succinate)

Green chem. principles recommend the use of renewable feedstocks and biocatalysis to decrease environmental impact of chems. manufg.  In this scope, three ferulic acid-​based bisphenols and one trisphenol were synthesized using enzymic catalysis.  Their antioxidant activity at polymer processing and service temp. was investigated in polypropylene (PP) and polybutylene succinate (PBS)​, and benchmarked against the com. antioxidant Irganox 1010.

The anal. of the oxygen induction time of the polymer degrdn. at high temps. showed that Irganox 1010 was more efficient to protect PP than the ferulic acid-​based bis​/trisphenols, whereas, in the case of PBS, the biobased antioxidants, and in particular tris-​O-​dihydroferuloyl glycerol (GTF)​, were more efficient. FT-​IR anal. of neat and formulated PP with different antioxidants stored for 2 years at room temp. showed no degrdn. Aging studies of PBS at room temp. in dry atm. showed that all antioxidants had an equal stabilizing effect on the mol. wt. avs. of the polymer. In conclusion, ferulic acid-​based antioxidants can be efficient primary antioxidants for the thermo-​oxidative stabilization of polymers.

Sep 09, 2016

Optimization of the Laccase-Catalyzed Synthesis of Syringaresinol and Study of its Thermal and Antiradical Activities

Optimization of the Laccase-Catalyzed Synthesis of Syringaresinol and Study of its Thermal and Antiradical Activities

We report herein an optimized biocatalytic oxidative process for the synthesis of syringaresinol from sinapyl alc. at a multigram scale (93​% yield) in very high yield.  Syringaresinol thereby obtained is of sufficient chem. purity and exhibits good thermal and antiradical activities to be used without further purifn. in many applications related to polymer synthesis as an alternative to bisphenol A.  Different mechanistic pathways were discussed to better understand the impact of reaction conditions on the type of linkage formed during the oxidative process.  Antiradical activity (DPPH anal.) and thermal properties of syringaresinol are also discussed.

Jun 29, 2016

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Chiral Epoxides Ethyl and Methyl (S)-3-(Oxiran-2-yl)propanoates from Renewable Levoglucosenone: An Access to Enantiopure (S)-Dairy Lactone

Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis of Chiral Epoxides Ethyl and Methyl (S)-3-(Oxiran-2-yl)propanoates from Renewable Levoglucosenone: An Access to Enantiopure (S)-Dairy Lactone

Herein, starting from levoglucosenone (LGO)​, a biobased chiral compd. was obtained through the flash pyrolysis of acidified cellulose, a safer and more sustainable chemo-​enzymic synthetic pathway involving lipase-​mediated Baeyer-​Villiger oxidn., palladium-​catalyzed hydrogenation, tosylation and treatment with sodium ethoxide​/methoxide as key steps was proposed.  This route afforded Et and Me (S)​-​3-​(oxiran-​2-​yl)​propanoates in 57​% overall yield, resp.  To demonstrate the potentiality of this new synthetic pathway from LGO, the synthesis of high value-​added (S)​-​dairy lactone was undertaken from these epoxides and provided the target in 37​% overall yield from LGO.

Jun 02, 2016

Structure property relationships of biobased n-alkyl bisferulate epoxy resins

Structure property relationships of biobased n-alkyl bisferulate epoxy resins

In this work, a series of bio-​based chem. recyclable epoxy resins were synthesized from n-​alkyl bisferulate esters that do not activate human estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)​.  Viscosities of corresponding glycidyl ether n-​alkyl bisferulate resins, detd. by steady shear rheol., range from 12-​9.4 Pa s.  Activation energies of flow range from 83-​96 kJ mol-​1 and are similar to the diglycidyl ether bisphenol A (DGEBA)​.  Thermomech. properties of diglycidyl ether n-​alkyl bisferulate resins cured with isophorone diamine were governed by the length of α,​ω-​diols that link glycidyl ether ferulate units.  That is, the glassy phase modulus and alpha transition temps. range from 3400-​2400 MPa (at 25 °C) and 40-​53 °C (peak of E'')​, resp.  Furthermore, the onset of thermal degrdn. (Td5​%) varied from 331-​300 °C.

Chem. recycling of cured epoxy resins was performed by static immersion in 10 wt.​/wt. sodium hydroxide aq. solns. at 60 °C. Times required for complete conversion of cured resins to water-​sol. degrdn. products was also α,​ω-​diol length dependent and varied from 5 to 65 h. Thus, diglycidyl ether of n-​alkyl bisferulate resins provides a viable biobased alternative to BPA epoxy resins as well as the option of chem. degradability and recovery of fillers in composite applications.

Apr 27, 2016

ADMET polymerization of biobased monomers deriving from syringaresinol

ADMET polymerization of biobased monomers deriving from syringaresinol

Renewable α,​Ω-​dienes have been prepd. from syringaresinol, a naturally occurring bisphenol deriving from sinapyl alc., and further studied as monomers in ADMET polymns.  Polymn. was optimized according to catalyst loading and reaction conditions (in mass vs. in solvent)​, and led to polymers with mol. wt. up to 14.1 kDa.  Thermal analyses of these new polymers showed excellent thermal stabilities (257-​360°) and tunable Tg (18-​70°) depending on the structure of the starting α,​Ω-​diene monomer.

Apr 19, 2016

Lipase-Catalyzed Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation of Cellulose-Derived Levoglucosenone into (S)-g-Hydroxymethyl-Butenolide: Optimization by Response Surface Methodology

Lipase-Catalyzed Baeyer-Villiger Oxidation of Cellulose-Derived Levoglucosenone into (S)-g-Hydroxymethyl-Butenolide: Optimization by Response Surface Methodology

Cellulose-​derived levoglucosenone (LGO) has been efficiently converted into pure (S)​-​γ-​hydroxymethyl-​α,​β-​butenolide (HBO)​, a chem. platform suited for the synthesis of drugs, flavors and antiviral agents.  This process involves two-​steps: a lipase-​catalyzed Baeyer-​Villiger oxidn. of LGO followed by an acid hydrolysis of the reaction mixt. to provide pure HBO.  Response surface methodol. (RSM)​, based on central composite face-​centered (CCF) design, was employed to evaluate the factors effecting the enzyme-​catalyzed reaction: pka of solid buffer (7.2-​9.6)​, LGO concn. (0.5-​1 M) and enzyme loading (55-​285 PLU.mmol-​1)​.

Enzyme loading and pka of solid buffer were found to be important factors to the reaction efficiency (as measured by the conversion of LGO) while only the later had significant effects on the enzyme recyclability (as measured by the enzyme residual activity)​. LGO concn. influences both responses by its interaction with the enzyme loading and pka of solid buffer. The optimal conditions which allow to convert at least 80​% of LGO in 2 h at 40°C and reuse the enzyme for a subsequent cycle were found to be: solid buffer pka = 7.5, [LGO] = 0.50 M and 113 PLU.mmol-​1 for the lipase. A good agreement between exptl. and predicted values was obtained and the model validity confirmed (p < 0.05)​. Alternative optimal conditions were explored using Monte Carlo simulations for risk anal., being estd. the exptl. region where the LGO conversion higher than 80​% is fulfilled at a specific risk of failure.

Feb 15, 2016

Chemo-enzymatic preparation and characterization of renewable oligomers with bisguaiacol moieties: promising sustainable antiradical/antioxidant additives in situ product recovery

Chemo-enzymatic preparation and characterization of renewable oligomers with bisguaiacol moieties: promising sustainable antiradical/antioxidant additives in  situ product recovery

The synthesis, structural characterization and properties of new bio-​based oligomers with bisguaiacol-​type moieties esterified by diverse aliph. linkers are described.  These oligomers, produced by oxidative oligomerization of renewable dihydroferulic acid-​based bisphenols with com. available Trametes versicolor laccase, are proposed as promising sustainable antiradical​/antioxidant additives for polymers.  This environmentally friendly biocatalyzed process is performed under very mild conditions in open vessels and aq. soln. at room temp.

Modifications of the reaction conditions (use of an org. co-​solvent up to 80​% vol.​/vol. and increase of the reaction temp. up to 60 °C) revealed that the polymn. degree of the oligomers may be controlled by adjusting the nature and the ratio of the co-​solvent, the reaction time and the reaction temp. Thermal analyses (TGA and DSC) demonstrated that these phenolic oligomers exhibit high thermal stability and that their Td 5​% and Tg can be easily tailored by playing with both the structure of the bisphenol and the d.p. Similarly, these phenolic oligomers exhibit tunable potent antiradical​/antioxidant activity as shown by DPPH analyses. These aliph.-​arom. oligomers with bisguaiacol-​type moieties are thus promising as easily accessible, eco-​friendly antiradical​/antioxidant additives for the stabilization of polymers in packaging and other applications.

Jan 07, 2016

Reactive extraction of bio-based 3-hydroxypropionic acid assisted by hollow-fiber membrane contactor using TOA and Aliquat 336 in n-decanol

Reactive extraction of bio-based
3-hydroxypropionic acid assisted by hollow-fiber membrane contactor using TOA and Aliquat 336 in n-decanol

Reactive liq.-​liq. extn. is a promising technique for the direct recovery of carboxylic acids from bioconversion media.  This work focused on the optimization of 3-​hydroxypropionic acid (3-​HP) reactive extn. assisted by hollow-​fiber membrane contactor (HFMC)​, using tri-​n-​octylamine (TOA) and Aliquat 336 as extractants in n-​decanol, and on its practical application for the recovery of 3-​HP obtained from glycerol bioconversion by Lactobacillus reuteri.  The results underlined the influence of the initial pH and 3-​HP concn. of the aq. medium and the impact of extractant phase compn. on the extn. performances.

The highest distribution coeff. of 3-​HP (KD = 13.0) was obsd. at pH = 3 with 10​% vol.​/vol. TOA mixed with 10​% vol.​/vol. Aliquat 336 in n-​decanol. This study showed that the acid concn. and the ratio of amines used between TOA and Aliquat 336 in n-​decanol did not have a great impact on the KD during 3-​HP reactive extn., whereas it had an influence on the extn. kinetics. Moreover, 3-​HP reactive extn. assisted by HFMC from real bioconversion broth with glycerol as the substrate was shown to be feasible, with the same order of magnitude of extn. kinetics but with a lower KD compared with reactive extn. using model broth. 3-​HP was predominantly extd. from the bioconversion broth, confirming the high selectivity of the extn. process studied and the high potential of this approach applied to the biotechnol. prodn. of 3-​HP.

Jan 06, 2016

Monitoring of free phenol content in lignosulfonates by ClO2 titration and UV difference spectroscopy

Monitoring of free phenol content in lignosulfonates by ClO2 titration and UV difference spectroscopy

Lignosulfonates (LS) are water-soluble polyphenolic macromolecules derived from lignins and common industrial additives in plasticizers and dispersants. A key feature for a more efficient utilization of modified LS is the monitoring of their free phenol (OHphen) content during various reactions as these phenols govern a large part of their chemical reactivity. Against this background, the UV difference spectroscopy (Δεi method) and ClO2 titration have been revisited. Synthetic LS model compounds with a SO3H group on their benzylic position and H, G, and S aromatic rings were synthesized and used to assess the suitability of both the ClO2 titration and the Δεi method on LS. The methodology combining the two analytical methods was then used to determine the molar extinction coefficient of a given LS allowing the calibration of the Δεi method for a convenient and rapid monitoring of OHphen in the course of LS reactions involving the OHphen groups.