THE OVERALL OBJECTIVE
The project's objective is to create a core of high level scientific and technological competence. This will allow studies ultrasound and microwaves upon chemical and non-chemical as well as on some biological processes.
First objective is: studies of the influence of US and MW (low level power) on enzymatic reactions and the effect upon living cells (there are many medical applications of US and MW but the way of interacting is not fully understood). This objective is considered as fundamental research with the potential to open gates for applied research.
The synthesis of nanocatalysts usable in catalytic reactions is the second topic of this project and is considered also as fundamental research.
The most extensive objective regards the applied research:
- The treatment of biomass (including algae) to extract and separate useful compounds that could add value to the biomass before entering into biorefinery procedures to give biofuels and biomaterials. Extracted and separated components could be used in cosmetic as well as food additives;
- The use of ultrasonic and/or microwave irradiation as a tool to intensify the chemical reactions – especially those occurring in heterogeneous media. It is envisaged:
- Biodiesel production from reclaimed vegetable oil and animal grease using catalysts (homogenous and/or heterogeneous), liquid phase reactions;
- Fischer – Tropsch reaction leading to small alkenes (gas phase reaction);
- In situ synthesis of nanocatalysts usable for different chemical reactions: hydrogenation, hydrolysis, esterification and transesterification, etc.
- Studies of the effect of US and MW upon living cells and enzymatic reaction having in mind acceleration of algae growing, enhancing fermentation processes, expecting higher algae production (for biodiesel oil) and specific enzymatic reactions (via fermentation process);
- Design of specific ultrasonic and microwave equipment capable to perform the above proposed processes. This equipment will be used also as laboratory apparatus and/or as equipment demonstrating their features as potential industrial equipment.