Green biorefinery: utilisation of press water for chemical and biotechnological purposes

  Mechanical drying of wood chips in a squeezer is an innovative technique to increase the energetic value of the chips in an energy-efficient and cost-effective manner. As a result, large quantities of press water with a high content of minerals and dissolved organic substances are produced, making the disposal via sewage plants difficult, but at the same time extremely interesting from an industrial and pharmacological point of view. The aim of this project, funded by the „Kuratorium für forstliche Forschung“, is the characterization and utilization of these substances for chemical and biotechnological purposes by means of biorefinery.
Various physical and chemical separation methods, such as preparative chromatography or foam analysis, are applied to isolate the organic substances in the press water. These isolated components are then identified using analytical methods, such as by mass spectrometry. Lignanes and terpenes, for example, are of particular interest for industrial and pharmacological purposes.
In a second line of research, it will be tested whether the press water can replace components of established media used for the liquid cultivation of cellulolytic fungi, in particular the so-called inducers, which represent one of the biggest cost factors in the enzyme production. Further examinations include the analysis of the transcriptome by means of next-generation sequencing as well as tests on the inhibitory effect of compounds from the press water against these and other fungi.
Duration September 2017 – December 2021
People Reppke, Manfred; Pilgård, Annica; Benz, J. Philipp,; Windeisen-Holzhauser, Elisabeth; Richter, Klaus
Funding Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten (StMELF)