RE4BRU (INNOVIRIS-Bridge, 2019-2022)
Light driven conversion of Brussels biowaste into value added bioproducts
Plant and seafood wastes are abundant renewable biomass on Earth and in the Brussels region. They are attractive sources of bioenergy and bio-based chemicals and materials. The aim of the project is to valorize Brussels sorted biowastes into platform chemicals for green chemistry using innovative green conversion technologies set upon a newly discovered “Reverse Photosynthesis”. This technology uses redox depolymerizing enzymes aided by the electrons from a photosensitizer powered by the Sunlight or artificial light. Natural biowaste-derived photosensitizer like chlorophyll derivatives will be tested. The innovative valorization of the lignocellulose that will be investigated involves extraction of lignin under environmental friendly conditions, light driven enzymatic polysaccharides degradation for production of fermentable sugars and oligosaccharides, electro-fermentation to medium chains carboxylates and lactic acid fermentation. While for chitin biowaste, the implications of the Reverse Photosynthesis will be tested for the oxidation of the polysaccharides and its conversion into wound healing hydrogel. Given that the biochemical processes involved in this technique do not require a dedicated area as for classical pre-green chemistry plant, this process could be easily implemented in an urban context using relatively small plants scale in size.
The objective of our team is to extract lignin, fractionate polysaccharides and the electro-fermentation to medium chains carboxylates.