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4:54 PM  December 10, 2018

TPU scientists make waste from biofuel production profitable

© предоставлено пресс-службой ТПУTPU scientists make waste from biofuel production profitable

TOMSK, Dec 10 – RIA Tomsk. Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) scientists are testing technology of waste recycling after biofuel production; thanks to silver and gold catalysts it will be possible to produce substances ten times more expensive than raw materials, the professor of TPU Research School of Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences Alexey Pestryakov told RIA Tomsk.

"We began testing of the technology of waste processing generated after the production of biofuels from biomass. It is based on the use of catalysts made of silver and gold nanoparticles developed at (Tomsk) Polytechnic University", – Pestryakov said.

He explained that this is a pressing problem for the whole world: after biomass is processed into biofuel (in America, for example, it is made from corn, in Europe - from rape, in South America – from oranges, tangerines, bananas) a large number of waste is formed. For example, glycerin – many thousand tons remained, the cosmetic industry cannot absorb such volumes. Or – botulin.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
"Not only betulin itself, but its derivatives – betulon, betulone aldehyde, betulonic acid – are in demand as precursors (intermediate substances) for creating of medicines. Moreover, they cost tens of times more than the price of the original product, that is, there is the process of valorization, or increase the value of the product", – Pestryakov said.

According to him, TPU scientists proposed a technology in which waste from biomass production is processed using polytechnic catalysts under conditions close to "green chemistry" – without toxic solvents, oxidizers (for oxidation, for example, oxygen or air is used). The process occurs at low temperatures, which reduces energy consumption.

"On this technology we have many publications in leading scientific journals, which speaks of the relevance of research. Now we are working it out in the laboratory, in a few years, with sufficient funding, we can talk about pilot industrial parties. Also we have good experience of developments introduction in the industry: back in Soviet times I introduced my catalysts at a number of enterprises", – Pestryakov said.

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