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Issue 4, 2013
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Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

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Abstract

Research into renewable chemicals, fuels and materials sourced from the oceans at Memorial University and elsewhere is employing green chemical technologies for the transformation of algae and food industry waste streams into useful products. A very small proportion of biomass utilization research is currently focused on these feedstocks and efforts focused in this area could reduce land space competition between food and chemical/fuel production. This perspective highlights some of the achievements and potential opportunities surrounding the use of algae and waste from shellfish and finfish processing. In particular, investigations in this field have used alternative solvents (water, supercritical carbon dioxide and methanol or ionic liquids) extensively. Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) has been used to extract lipids and pigments from algae, and oils from fish-processing plant waste streams. Water can be used to isolate potentially high value biologically-active oligosaccharides from some seaweeds. Biotechnological approaches are showing promise in the separation of biopolymers from shellfish waste streams. Production of new nitrogen-containing bioplatform chemicals (e.g. 3-acetamido-5-acetylfuran) from aminocarbohydrates (chitin, chitosan and N-acetylglucosamine) is being pursued.

Graphical abstract: Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

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Article information


Submitted
09 Dec 2012
Accepted
25 Feb 2013
First published
12 Mar 2013

Green Chem., 2013,15, 860-871
Article type
Perspective

Green chemistry and the ocean-based biorefinery

F. M. Kerton, Y. Liu, K. W. Omari and K. Hawboldt, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 860 DOI: 10.1039/C3GC36994C

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