Valorisation of wheat residues to polymeric xylan and cellulose (Valowheat)

Description

Funding: Academy of Finland, KUTJU-research programme (joint call with ANR, France)
Collaboration: Dr. Pierre-Yves Pontalier, UMR 1010 INRA/INP- ENSIACET, France; Dr. Luc Saulnier, INRA Nantes, France
Project description:
Xylans and cellulose are plant polysaccharides, whose isolation from agricultural side streams would provide value-added and environmentally friendly raw material for chemical industries. There is currently increasing industrial interest for xylan production, particularly if integrated in the production of other valuable chemicals, materials and/or energy. However, one main restriction for the rapid progress is presently lack of cost-effective fractionation and purification processes. The applied project aims on development of new approaches for the agrobiomass valorisation by the combination of industrially feasible twin-screw extraction and purification processes to produce fractions with high xylan content for further use in natural packaging materials. In addition, the further refinement of the residual material from the extraction process to cellulose, lignin and other fractions will be evaluated with traditional and novel, such as ionic liquids, techniques, and the properties of the obtained fractions and their processability will be evaluated. The project aims also in development of improved analytical methods for the process and product analysis, and on the environmental comparison of this process with the petrochemical reference. The results of the project will enhance knowledge on agrobiomass utilisation, wheat straw- and bran-derived xylan and cellulose isolation and characterisation, and their potential in films and coatings, and in cellulose materials and -derivatives. Special attention will be targeted on the detailed chemical and structural characterisation of the extracted fractions by various sophisticated techniques to fully understand the mechanisms dictating isolation and purification, and the potential of the extracted fractions in different applications.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/09/200931/12/2012