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HUmins as Green and Sustainable precursors of eco-friendly building blocks and materials. (HUGS)

HUGS aims to provide an innovative, highly multidisciplinary and top educational program focusing on the valorisation of these two key side products from lignocellulosic biorefineries by implementing an international network of excellence able to provide both scientific innovation and training in environmentally sound alternatives to produce chemicals, fuels and materials from Humins and Levulinics. Three different innovative strategies have been identified from the processing of 2nd generation and waste feedstocks such as agricultural residues and waste paper streams.

Universidad de Córdoba

To establish a highly innovative as well as integrated PhD training network with EID's actively involved in education and training programmes.
To integrate the knowledge and experience of the MSC fellows into the Avantium R&D environment and to disseminate Avantium's world class high-through-put technologies and biorefinery development to the fellows.
To increase the fundamental knowledge on raw humins formation (depending on sugar source) and evaluate the structure/properties relationships of raw humins.
To evaluate the physical chemical safety aspects of humins and furanics in general and the potential of humins and levulinates for being converted into fine chemicals, polymers and biofuels
Exploration and development of designed optimised multifunctional advanced catalysts based on humins derived nanostructured carbons by integrating UCORDOBA expertise on carbonaceous supports, catalysis and materials engineering with the high throughput capabilities of AVT
To minimize the environmental impacts of these new materials and related processes by controlling the atmospheric emissions, effluents, recyclability and biodegradability.

Derivatization/carbonization of humins: a methodology will be developed towards humins deconstruction into valuable chemicals (e.g. furfural and HMF) as well as oligomers for various purposes
Conversion of methyl levulinate into methyl pentenoate The scientific challenge is to find the best catalysts system, that will favour the hydrogenation of the ketone in Methyl Levulinate to t Methyl 4-hydroxypropanoate over the hydrogenation of the product unsaturated pentenoic acid.

D.1.4: scientific contributions to nanostructured Carbon Frameworks from humins
D.1.8: P.O.P. for the production of methyl pentenoate with > 90% selectivity
D.4.1: Good practices in biorefinery operations aiming to avoid incident during and over the PhD period
D.4.2: PhD's will acquire broad knowledge covering all aspects of a successful bioeconomy by the leaders in the field.

General scientific and soft skills training during wide network events.

Dissemination of the scientific results and public outreach activities

A successful HUGS project will equally open doors towards a further career in the scientific community as well as a further career in an industrial environment.
The interaction between partners and ESR will be also extended to other students (HUGS graduate school programs will be opened to any students) so that benefits can be expected not only for HUGS ESRs within the network but also students within Europe, hence, maximizing the efficiency of the interaction and networking.
The HUGS project will also provide significant breakthroughs in creating new knowledge, as well as in the integration of this new knowledge in existing processes and products within the European Union. There are clear industrial and commercial routes envisaged for the exploitation of the results in the renewable chemicals area that is currently being established in the EU.

Nanoquímica y Valorización de Biomasa y Residuos (NANOQBIORES)

Code PAIDI: FQM-383


Universidad de Córdoba

Budget of Andalusian group: € 247,872.96

Keywords: Heterogeneous catalysis, Organic chemistry, Chemical reactions: mechanisms, dynamics, kinetics and catalytic reactions, Polymer chemistry, Characterization methods of materials, Humin, furfuryl alcohol, methyl levulinate, levulinic acid, acrylic acid, composite, resins, biobasedeconomy, polyester, PEF, side-streams, value-added, SME, high-tech
Duration: November, 1th 2015 to October, 31th 2018
Project cost: € 1,278,214.92