The objective of this work package is the extraction of valuable components from woody biomass. To reach this goal the physical parameters as the moisture content of the woody residues will be measured to provide a characterization of the started matrices. The porosity and granulometry of the woody biomass will be also taken into account as features that could influence the extraction yields. Based on this piece of information, the development of innovative processes for the extraction of valuable components from the woody residue will be performed at laboratory scale. Two technologies, i.e. supercritical fluid extraction and conventional solvent extraction will be tested with a focus on providing high recovery yields of the extracts. The applicability of the proposed techniques will take into account the physical characteristics of the woody biomass and the target valuable components to be extracted. An experimental plan will be set up to test the effect of the process variables to get the highest recovery yield of the extractable compounds.
The effect of both treatments on the physicochemical aspects of the extracts will be determined experimentally as a function of the process conditions. Appropriate laboratory procedures and protocols for sample preparation and analysis will be set up. The physicochemical properties of the extracts will be assessed measuring their antioxidant activity with different experimental methods (ORAC, DPPH, amperometry). The oxygen scavenging activity of the extracts will be also tested by microcalorimetry, and compared with that of other well-known antioxidants species and vegetable extracts. As concern the aromatic profile of the extracted compounds, the proton transfer reaction – mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) will be applied.
The results of the extraction kinetics and the physicochemical properties of the extracts will provide all the information to choose the best technology and optimize the process conditions.