28 September 2015

New analysis strategy improves material efficiency of biorefineries

Finnish doctoral dissertation presents new strategy for expanding the usability of an analysis method used by biorefineries and for identifying new types of compounds

A new method has been developed to improve the material efficiency of biorefineries and to detect new wood-based products. The new method contributes to identifying the chemical composition of process streams. This is essential to the efficient use of process streams and therefore to the development of new products within the bioprocess industry. 

In her doctoral dissertation to be examined at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Laura Kaijanen presents a new strategy for expanding the usability of an analysis method used by biorefineries and for identifying new types of compounds. The applicability of Kaijanen’s profiling method was tested on wood-based extraction samples. Both raw materials and final products were detected simultaneously.

In addition to sugars, Kaijanen detected two new compounds: furfural and polydatin. Furfural is a by-product that can be found in specific bioprocesses. Excess amounts of the compound may hinder the process flow. By separating sugar from polydatin, the compound can be used to create stilbene, a substance with positive effects on human health.

The strategy used by Kaijanen is based on the validation of the method and the profiling of the process stream using capillary electrophoresis. Capillary electrophoresis is a method applied in chemical analytics. It is commonly used in quality control analyses in the pharmaceutical industry. To some extent, it is also used to analyse processes at biorefineries, but with a very small number of compounds. Kaijanen’s dissertation shows that the method could be utilised to monitor and control bioindustrial process reactions more widely.

Biorefineries are continuously developing their processes in order to make the use of raw material more efficient. They also strive to improve the cost-effectiveness of processes by increasing their range of valuable products. The strategy developed by Kaijanen could be applied to existing process streams.

Laura Kaijanen, M.Sc. (Tech.), will defend her doctoral dissertation Capillary electrophoresis: Applicability and method validation for biorefinery analytics in the field of process and environmental analytics at the Lappeenranta University of Technology on 18 September 2015 at 12 noon in room 1381. Risto Korpinen, D.Sc (Tech.), from Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) will be the opponent and Docent Satu-Pia Reinikainen from Lappeenranta University of Technology the custos.

The dissertation has been published in the Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis research series (number 658) of the university. ISBN 978-952-265-845-6 and ISSN 1456-4491. The dissertation is available for reading on the Lappeenranta University of Technology’s LUTPub database at http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-265-846-3. A printed version of the dissertation may be purchased from the Aalef bookstore, tel. +358 44 744 5511 or kirjakauppa@aalef.fi and from the LUT Shop online store at https://lutshop.lut.fi.


The doctoral candidate’s personal information:

Name: Laura Kaijanen

Year and place of birth: 1980 Valkeala

Home municipality: Lappeenranta

Education: M.Sc. (Tech), LUT, 2010

Employment: LUT, 2010–



Laura Kaijanen
Tel. +358 44 524 2224
email: laura.kaijanen@lut.fi

Source: Lappeenranta University of Technology, press release, 2015-09-22.


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