Activated Carbon from biomass, a sustainable acid catalyst for flavor synthesis Inês Matos* Maria Bernardo, Regina Pereira, Helena C. Vasconcelos, Isabel Fonseca and Joaquim Vitala
Abstract PDF: Conteira EUROPACAT
– A LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa e o Department of Technological Sciences and Development, Universidade dos Açores
The objective of this work was to develop and study carbon based heterogeneous catalysts for catalytic reactions of interest, within the scope of green chemistry. Activated carbons prepared from biomass via chemical activation as well as a commercial carbon were studied in esterification reactions for the production of flavors.
This material is an eco-friendly choice for catalyst, which combines excellent textural and chemical properties. Also, the preparation of activated carbon from biomass waste is a suitable pathway of valorization of wastes and promotes the processing of biomass in the production of added value products.
The catalysts proved to be efficient in the esterification reaction of hexanol, isoamyl alcohol and octanol with acetic acid to produce pear, banana and orange flavors, respectively. The latter are approved compounds for food additives by the European Food Safety Authority.
Hedychium gardnerianum, better known as Conteira, is an original plant of Asia (India, between the Himalayas and Nepal), which was introduced in the Azores and Madeira (the Portuguese islands), for ornamental reasons. It is an invasive plant that propagates preferentially in wetlands, forest and agricultural areas. Its rapid growth leads to the formation of vast and dense colonies that stifle the development of native vegetation and may lead to the modification of the natural habitat of native animals and thus threat the integrity of ecosystems. For these reasons it is necessary its periodic removal .
This is a lignocellulosic material and, therefore, can be considered as a suitable raw material to obtain activated carbons with good adsorption and catalysis properties. The conversion of this raw material in activated carbon will increase its economic value, help reduce the cost of disposal of their waste and provide a potentially cheap raw material for carbons . The application of the obtained carbons in acid catalysis results in a high added value product.