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Producción sostenible de biocombustible (bioetanol) a partir de residuos de marisco

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOES20160425002
Publicado:
20/05/2016
Caducidad:
20/05/2017
Resumen:
Un equipo de investigación español ha desarrollado un nuevo proceso basado en el uso de hongos para producir bietanol y biomasa fúngica a partir de residuos de marisco. Se trata de una alternativa sostenible a los cultivos agroforestales que se emplean en la actualidad. La tecnología utiliza chitosán como única fuente de nutrientes y permite obtener bioetanol de forma rentable y sostenible y respetando el medioambiente. El equipo de investigación busca empresas interesadas en adquirir la tecnología para su explotación comercial mediante un acuerdo de licencia o cooperación en materia de investigación.

Details

Tittle:
Sustainable production of biofuel (bioethanol) from shellfish waste
Summary:
A Spanish research group has developed a new process by using fungi to produce bioethanol and fungal biomass from shellfish waste. It is a sustainable alternative to agroforestry crops currently used. The technology uses chitosan as a sole source of nutrients, and it produces bioethanol in profitable, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The group is looking for companies interested in acquiring the technology for commercial exploitation by license or research cooperation agreement.
Description:
The decline in oil reserves is raising interest in biofuels as alternative to fossil fuels. Liquid or gas biofuels are obtained from biomass. Biodiesel and bioethanol are the only biofuels currently produced and used on a large scale worldwide. Bioethanol is the most widely used biofuel.

Current biofuel production is mainly carried out by yeast fermentation of plant raw material with high sugar content. Yeasts have high growth potential under fermentative conditions since they tolerate high concentrations of substrate and they are highly resistant to the ethanol than they themselves produce. However, the use of plant raw materials for biofuels means serious economic, social and environmental problems due to the increase in the cultivated area for this purpose. In this sense, the high demand for agricultural biofuels would be a huge effort to produce enough raw material, which would in turn adversely affect food price and availability.

To solve these problems, it is advisable to use alternative substrates to crops that would allow high biofuel production at competitive costs. Agroforestry, industrial or fish waste are potential raw materials for biofuel production. However, most of these residues require pre-treatments (e.g. chemical or enzymatic pre-digestions) prior to yeast fermentation that complicate production and increase costs.

In the other hand, chitin is one of the most abundant biopolymers on the Earth. It is a key component of the exoskeleton of many invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, molluscs, nematodes), and into the cell wall of some fungi. Shellfish waste (especially crustaceans) is an abundant and readily available (a fishing industry by-product) source of chitin. Since it is nitrogen rich, its disposal has a negative environmental impact, mainly due to ammonia toxicity.

Chitosan is a chitin derivative with high antimicrobial activity spectrum (bactericidal and fungicidal), useful both in medicine and agriculture. However, chitosan has not been used as biofuel raw material, since traditional fermenting organisms (eg. Saccharomyces cerevisiae), are sensitive to chitosan and therefore unable to use it. Consequently, new strategies to use chitin waste which would reduce its negative environmental impact are needed.

The Spanish university research group has developed a novel process for producing biofuel (bioethanol) and fungal biomass for sustainable crop pest management as by-product. This novel process can use waste from the shellfish industry (or other sources of chitin or chitosan), as an alternative raw material to the use of crops or agroforestry residues. This process is a sustainable way to eliminate the pollution caused by shellfish waste. It uses nematophagous and entomopathogenic fungi which are able to grow efficiently in anaerobiosis, producing ethanol from the reducing sugars obtained from chitosan, chitin or their derivatives (produced as a result of the degradation of the shellfish industry waste). These nematophagous and entomopathogenic fungi are:
·Pochonia chlamydosporia
·Beauveria bassiana
·Metarhizium anisopliae

Fungi (as conidia and chlamydospores) are at given concentrations that allow rapid and abundant growth without producing self-inhibition.

It is only needed basic skills in the growth of microorganism. The main application sectors for this technology are:
· Biofuel production (bioethanol) as an alternative to ethanol produced by fermentation processes (using yeast) from plant as raw material.
· Production of fungal biomass for sustainable crop protection.
· Biodegradation and decontamination of shellfish industry waste (the high nitrogen content of this waste leads eutrophication, so that its uncontrolled disposal has serious environmental problems).

The group is looking for companies interested in license agreement for commercial exploitation or technical/research cooperation agreement to adapt the technology to the specific need of the market.
Advantages and Innovations:
Advantages:

· Fungi can grow under high chitosan concentrations (more than 2 mg/ml), which are toxic to other microorganisms conditions, thus reducing culture contamination.
· Fungi use chitosan as the sole source of nutrients.
· Fungi produce a large amount of reducing sugars which are fermented into ethanol (bioethanol).
· Fungi can grow under anaerobic conditions.
· Fungi are able to tolerate the amount of ethanol that they themselves produce in the culture medium (no self-inhibition occurs).
· Fungi encode in their genomes zinc-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases and pyruvate decarboxylases that are required to produce ethanol.
· Fungi produce ethanol and fungal biomass from chitosan rich residues of the shellfish industry waste, thus reducing pollution they cause.
· The process is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
· It is profitable process.

Innovations:

It has been developed a new procedure for producing biofuel (bioethanol) using shellfish industry waste and nematophagous or entomopathogenic fungi. It is a sustainable non-food alternative to crops or agroforestry waste processed, instead of the traditional fermentation processes.
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
This technology is protected by a Spanish patent application and PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The research group is looking for a company interested in acquiring a license agreement for a worldwide commercial exploitation.

Also, it is also seeking companies or entities that are interested in signing a research cooperation agreement to develop new strategies for industrial bioethanol production.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
French
Spanish

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
04005003 Biocombustibles líquidos
06006012 Bioprocesos
04005006 Solid biomass