2023, Vol. 8, No. 2

Display Method:
Frontier of digitalization in Biomass-to-X supply chain: opportunity or threats?
Adrian Chun Minh Loy, Karen Gah Hie Kong, Juin Yau Lim, Bing Shen How
2023, 8(2): 101-107. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.03.001
The escalating climate crisis necessitates an urgent shift towards a sustainable business model. Under the context of bioeconomy, it has offered a promising alternative through its "Biomass-to-X" strategy for converting biological resources into value-added products or chemicals. However, the adoption of this approach remains scarce, which highlights the need to leverage digital technologies to enhance its feasibility. Thus, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the potential role of digital technologies in the Biomass-to-X supply chain, encompassing the entire value chain from upstream to downstream activities, specifically in the areas of 1) lab-to-fabrication translation, 2) biomanufacturing stage, and lastly, 3) supply chain management stage. Furthermore, this study identifies and discusses research gaps in each niche area, along with potential future research prospects to facilitate the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy, making it a crucial reference for stakeholders involved in decision-making processes.
Pichia as yeast cell factory for production of industrially important bio-products: Current trends, challenges, and future prospects
Akansha Shrivastava, Mamta Pal, Rakesh Kumar Sharma
2023, 8(2): 108-124. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.007
Yeast has been used as a cell factory for thousands of years to produce a wide variety of complex biofuels, bioproducts, biochemicals, food ingredients, and pharmaceuticals. For a variety of biotechnological production hosts, a few specific genera of yeast have proven themselves. Rapid developments in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology provide a workable long-term supply solution for these substances. In this review, we have covered recent advances in the design of yeast cell factories for the synthesis of terpenoids, alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, and other natural chemicals, primarily focusing on Pichia species. Cutting-edge solutions involving genetic and process engineering have also been discussed. Overall, the review summarized recent advancements and challenges in synthetic and systems biology, as well as initiatives in metabolic engineering aimed at commercializing non-conventional yeasts like Pichia. The processes used in non-traditional yeasts to produce enzymes, therapeutic proteins, lipids, and metabolic products for industrial applications were thoroughly elaborated.
Bioprocessing of underutilized Artocarpus altilis fruit to bioethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A fermentation condition improvement study
Eriola Betiku, Ebenezer O Olatoye, Lekan M. Latinwo
2023, 8(2): 125-135. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.03.002
Raw materials availability needed for commercial bioethanol production is one of the challenges against its global adoption. Identifying rich, cheap, underused, and readily available starch sources for bioethanol production could help address the problem. Thus, this current study investigated the bioconversion of underutilized Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) starch to bioethanol using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The effects of the essential fermentation conditions (fermentation time, breadfruit starch hydrolysate (BSH) concentration, pH, and inoculum size) and their interactions on bioethanol production were investigated. The central composite design was used to generate twenty-one experiments conducted under batch fermentation conditions in the laboratory. The breadfruit starch hydrolysis led to a BSH concentration of 108.9 g/L under a starch concentration of 122 g/L, microwave output of 720 W, and an incubation time of 6 min. For the fermentation of BSH, maximum bioethanol production of 4.99% (V) was reached under the cultivation conditions of BSH concentration of 80 g/L, medium pH of 4.7, inoculum size of 2% (V), and fermentation time of 20.41 h. Except for pH, the impact of each parameter on the bioethanol production was in this order: BSH concentration, inoculum size, and fermentation time. While for the interactions amongst the parameters, the impact is in this order: BSH concentration and inoculum size; BSH concentration and fermentation time; and fermentation time and inoculum size. The results of this study indicated breadfruit starch could be hydrolyzed using acid hydrolysis and microwave irradiation in a relatively short time. The BSH obtained could potentially add to other substrates for bioethanol production.
Super-anti-freezing, tough and adhesive titanium carbide and L-ornithine-enhanced hydrogels
Zhangkang Li, Jamie LeBlanc, Hitendra Kumar, Hongguang Zhang, Weijun Yang, Xiao He, Qingye Lu, Jeffrey Van Humbeck, Keekyoung Kim, Jinguang Hu
2023, 8(2): 136-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.005
Hydrogels are highly porous three-dimensional crosslinked polymer networks consisting of hydrophilic polymers, employed most practically in medicine and industry, often as biosensors. Simple hydrogels suffer limitations in their mechanical properties, such as tensile and compression, and freeze at sub-zero temperatures, which compromise their ability as useful biosensors. In this study, the incorporation of L-ornithine-based zwitterionic monomer (OZM), titanium carbide (MXene), and glycerol within polyacrylamide hydrogels was used to prepare a novel polyacrylamide/polyL-ornithine-based zwitterion/MXene (PAM/Porn/MXene) hydrogel to improve the mechanical, adhesion, and anti-freezing properties of pure polyacrylamide hydrogels. This study also analyzed the mechanical strength (tensile and compression), adhesion, and anti-freezing properties of a novel PAM/Porn/MXene hydrogel at 1%, 4%, and 10% MXene concentrations to establish to what extent the conductive MXene material enhanced these properties and concluded that the tensile and compressive properties improved linearly with the increase in the concentrations of MXene, adhesion decreased with the increased MXene concentrations, and synergistic interaction between MXene and OZM significantly improved the anti-freezing properties up to –80 ℃.
Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of pomegranate peel phenolic compounds: Varietal screening through a multivariate approach
Amira Salim, Pierfrancesco Deiana, Francesco Fancello, Maria Giovanna Molinu, Mario Santona, Severino Zara
2023, 8(2): 146-161. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.006
Pomegranates are rich in phenolic compounds and known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. The highest concentration of these compounds is found in the peel (exocarp and mesocarp), which constitutes about 50% of the whole fresh fruit. These bioactive phytochemicals exhibit a broad spectrum of antimicrobial effects against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as fungi. In the present paper, the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the peel (exocarp and mesocarp) from seven Punica granatum varieties (Wonderful, Mollar de Elche, Primosole, Sassari 1, Sassari 2, Sassari 3, and Arbara Druci) grown in Sardinia (Italy) were evaluated. Polar phenols, flavonoids, condensed tannins, and anthocyanin contents were evaluated by extraction with water at 20 and 40 ℃. Orthogonal projections to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was used to characterize each variety according to the chemical composition of the pomegranate peel extracts (PPEs). The antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of each PPE were further tested in vitro against Staphyloccocus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella bongori, Escherichia coli, Lacticaseibacillus casei and Limosilactobacillus reuteri. Gram-positive species were more sensitive than Gram-negative to the extracts tested. Antimicrobial activity was shown against S. aureus and L. monocytogenes strains, whereas less, even no activity was found against S. bongori and E. coli strains. The PPEs from Mollar de Elche, Primosole, and Sassari 3 showed the highest antimicrobial activities at concentrations that varied from 0.19 to 1.50 mg/mL, with biofilm activity being reduced by more than 70%. These activities were positively related to the punicalagin, flavonoid, and chlorogenic acid content of the extracts. Finally, regarding the pro-technological bacterial strains, La. casei and Li. reuteri showed very low, even no sensitivity to the used of the specific PPEs with high concentrations. This study proposes a formulation of pomegranate peel extract that valorizes agro-industrial waste in the context of sustainability and circular economy. Pomegranate extracts should be considered potential sources of natural, plant-derived antimicrobials, providing an alternative to artificial antimicrobial products.
Papaya peel waste carbon dots/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite: From photocatalytic decomposition of methylene blue to antimicrobial activity
Hesam Salimi Shahraki, Rani Bushra, Nimra Shakeel, Anees Ahmad, Quratulen, Mehraj Ahmad, Christos Ritzoulis
2023, 8(2): 162-175. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.009
Carbon dots (CDs) have gained unprecedented attention as a novel luminescent zero-dimensional carbon nanomaterial owing to their diverse industrial applications. Herein, we reported the sustainable synthesis of fluorescent CDs from papaya peel waste, acting as a natural carbon originator. As-prepared CDs and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) were fabricated in the composites through a facile one-step hydrothermal method. Synthesized RGO/CDs (RC) nanocomposites were characterized using spectroscopic, diffraction, and electron-microscopic techniques. Nanocomposites with variable RGO to CD mass ratios were tested for photodegradation of textile dye methylene blue (MB). The highest photocatalytic activity (degradation efficiency of 87% in 135 min) was obtained in the nanocomposite containing a 2꞉1 mass ratio (RC2). The RGO sheets in the nanocomposite acted as media for electron acceptors, promoting the fast transfer and separation of photoinduced electrons during CDs excitation, thus preventing the recombination of the electron and holes. Based on the agar well diffusion assay, the nanocomposites exhibited excellent antibacterial activity than other tested materials against Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Gram-negative) bacterium. The largest inhibition zone area (22 mm), i.e., the highest antimicrobial activity, was obtained in the nanocomposite tested against Gram-positive strains. Taken together, the synergistic effect of RGO and CDs enhanced the photocatalytic and antibacterial performance of synthesized nanocomposite material.
Effect of silica source on photocatalytic properties of Bi2O3/Bi2SiO5 heterostructure
O.D. Arefieva, M.S. Vasilyeva, L.A. Zemnukhova, D.P. Opra, D.A. Nikolaeva, V.V. Tkachev, D.H. Shlyk
2023, 8(2): 176-186. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.03.003
The Bi2O3/Bi2SiO5 heterostructures were obtained with various samples of silica as a precursor: on the basis of biogenic silica isolated from rice husk and rice straw and the silica of mineral origin. A mixture of Bi(NO3)3 and SiO2 with a mass content of 15% was used for synthesizing all the samples. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray phase, X-ray fluorescence, and ultraviolet-visible diffused reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS) were used to systematically characterize as-obtained materials. Photodegradation of methyl orange in neutral aqueous solutions (pH = 6.8) under UV irradiation was studied to evaluate their photocatalytic activities. Morphology, bandgaps, the value of the zero charge point, and photocatalytic activity of the samples depended on the characteristics of the original silica. The degree of methyl orange degradation reached the maximum values (81%−85%) for samples based on precipitated silica from rice husks, straw, and the minimum value (16%) for a composite with thermal silica from rice straw. Composites based on thermal silica from rice husks and reagents from mineral raw materials did not statistically differ from each other in the degree of methyl orange degradation (67%−74%).
Inhibitory effect of a Chinese quince seed peptide on protein glycation: A mechanism study
Yejun Deng, Xiang Wang, Caihong Zhang, Pujun Xie, Lixin Huang
2023, 8(2): 187-197. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.008
Non-enzymatic glycation can cause the formation and accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and it poses great threats to human health. It is urgent to search for safe and efficient inhibitors to prevent reducing sugar induced protein glycation. In this study, we investigated the anti-glycation activity and mechanism of an identified peptide, Asparagine-Tyrosine-Arginine-Arginine-Glutamic acid (NYRRE) from Chinese quince seed protein hydrolysate, by multispectroscopy, confocal imaging, and computational molecular simulation. Firstly, it was found that NYRRE could scavenge hydroxyl radicals and chelate Fe2+. Besides, the NYRRE was effective in every stage of fructose induced bovine serum albumin (BSA) glycation. The NYRRE could reduce the formation of fructosamine, carbonyl compounds, glycoxidation products and β-amyloid structure. Meanwhile, NYRRE could protect thiol groups and stabilize the spatial conformation of BSA. The NYRRE presented strong inhibition in fluorescent AGEs, and 68.19% of total AGEs formation was prevented with NYRRE at 15 mmol/L. The results of molecular simulation indicated that NYRRE could insert into the hydrophobic pocket of BSA and interact with hot spots, including arginine and lysine residues. The mechanism of NYRRE inhibiting protein glycation could be due to its antioxidant activity, BSA structure stabilizing ability, and specific bond with glycation sites of BSA. These results provided a valuable reference for developing NYRRE as an efficient antiglycation agent in preventing glycation-mediated diseases.
Efficient synthesis of alkyl levulinates fuel additives using sulfonic acid functionalized polystyrene coated coal fly ash catalyst
Yi Tian, Xiaoting Zhu, Shuolin Zhou, Wenguang Zhao, Qiong Xu, Xianxiang Liu
2023, 8(2): 198-213. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2023.01.003
In this study, sulfonic acid functionalized polystyrene coated coal fly ash catalyst (CFA@PS-SO3H) was designed and prepared by the post-synthesis method, which exhibited excellent catalytic performance for esterification of levulinic acid (LA) to afford alkyl levulinates. Four significant factors, including reaction time, catalyst dosage, alcohol-to-acid molar ratio and reaction temperature were evaluated systematically. Response surface methodology based on Box-Behnken design (BBD) was carried out to determine the optimal parameters. The maximum yield could reach 99.6% under the mild conditions. Furthermore, kinetics of the esterification reaction between levulinic acid and n-butanol were analyzed and the activation energies of the first and second step of esterification reaction were found to 52.18 and 59.81 kJ/mol, respectively. The CFA@PS-SO3H also showed high catalytic activity for the esterification of levulinic acid with other linear alcohols, which made it a low cost, environmentally friendly and promising solid catalyst for the synthesis of alkyl levulinates.