388131 Techno-Economical and Environmental Analysis of the Production of Value-Added Metabolites in the Amazon

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Angela González1, Paola Moreno2, Carlos A. Cardona3, Eulogio Castro4 and Alvaro Gómez3, (1)Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Amazonía, Leticia, Colombia, (2)Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Leticia, Colombia, (3)Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Manizales, Colombia, (4)Department of Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), University of Jaén, Jaen, Spain

Growing demand for natural products makes the marketing of non-timber forest species in areas such as the Department of Amazonas, as an alternative for sustainable development of bioprocesses based on the biodiversity. Amazon region is well known for its diversity in flora and these species have traditionally been used as food and also as a source of medicines, dyes and wood. This has generated a great interest in their study and economic utilization.

Thus, many of these plants have a great potential for the production of secondary metabolites such as antioxidants, dyes, phenolic resins, among others, that are considered value-added products with high demand into food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. Marketing for non-timber products from plants has become an interesting alternative to use the forests, because it meets environmental objectives such as biodiversity conservation and economic development for communities.

Aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) is a native palm tree from the Amazon rainforest, growing in and near swamps and flooded areas along rivers making it widely distributed. Besides, it is a specie with high ecological, cultural and economic value, which makes necessary to look for strategies to exploit their potential with an appropriate ecological management. 

Different research works showed its potential as antioxidant, its low toxicity in creams and lotions, photo protective properties against UVA and UVB irradiation on cells, antimicrobial activities. Fruit oil is valuable for the cosmetic industries due to high content in tocopherols and oleic acid and carotenoids.

Currently, these palms do not have any industrial use in Amazonas Department, and the fruits are sold in the marketplace without treatment.

In this work, the characterization of this palm was made. This information was used for understanding the possibilities of this palm as raw material for added value processes. A techno-economic and environmental analysis for the production of value-added compounds such as antioxidants, colorants, oil and energy from Aguaje is presented. Mainly the analysis is performed through simulations with Aspen Plus. The environmental analysis was developed through WAR software.  It is demonstrated the prefeasibility of the proposed biorefinery, even at small scale as a result of high value-added obtained products.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum