Invited Speaker
Prof. Valentina Beghetto

Prof. Valentina Beghetto

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems
University Cà Foscari Venice
Speech Title: Bio-Mass Valorisation to produce high value chemicals

Abstract: Linear production is no longer possible in a logic of sustainability and circular economy. An important and emerging alternative is based on Circular Economy and the 4R principles (reduce, reuse, recover and recycle) that should be applied during the entire cycle of production, consumption and return of resources, involving the entire supply chain from production to disposal.

In this context we will report recent results achieved within various successful case studies reporting the recovery, recycling, and valorization of bio-mass to produce high value chemicals. In particular:

1. Production of green biopolymers for leather tanning: a novel class of bio-based polymers is being developed within the recently financed LIFE I’M-TAN project with low chemical hazard, sustainable costs, reduced waste and improved circularity (recycle/re-use of waste) compared to conventional processes. An innovative ultrafiltration/nanofiltration purification process (UF/NF) will be scaled up to separate concentrate purified natural tannins (CPNT) from non-tanning LMWS. The CPNT will then be chemically modified according to green chemistry principles to produce tanning agents while LMWS will be used as animal feed.

2. From Brewery to Bioplastics: The EU Brewing Industry produces over 39.5 MioL of beer yearly, generating over 6.4 Miot/year of Beer spent grain (BSG), main side-stream of the brewing process. In EU, 20% of BSG is landfilled (1.28 Miot/year). LIFE RESTART is a close to market project which will reuse BSG to substitute Fossil based Plastics for food and non-food packaging, giving adequate answer to some of the most pressing environmental issues related to BSG disposal and non-biodegradable, persistent FbP packaging, tackling relevant social issues.

3. Bio Extracted Active Substances for Plant Innovative Shields: starting from Agricultural waste an environment-friendly biorefinery is being developed on a multi-technology approach, by Supercritical CO2 Extraction, followed by Fractional Distillation for the production of Natural Extracts Biocontrol Agents & Biostimulants to reduce/replace Synthetic Chemical Pesticide(SCP).

Keywords: Product and Process Sustainability, Bioeconomy, Green Chemistry, Circular Economy, Polymers, Biomass Recovery and Recycle.

Biography: Main interests are mainly devoted to the development of innovative products & Processes within the principles of Green Organic Chemistry and Circular Economy. Main topics regard plastic waste recycling technologies, bio-based polymers, catalytic transformation of polymers for high value chemicals.
Deep knowledge on polymer chemistry and the development of low impact processes and products, as documented by the many EU funded projects and peer reviewed publications.

She has over 100 among publications, patents and congress communications. Responsible of the third mission for DSMN is coordinator and partner of various National and European projects dealing with environmentally friendly technologies from biomass products and Circular Economy Best Practices.
She teaches Chemistry for the Leather Industry, Polymer Chemistry, Flavor and Fragrances for undergraduates in Sustainable Chemistry. Coordinator of a research group of 10 people, collaborates with National and International Partners.
Since 2014 founder of Crossing Ltd Winner of many awards specialized in innovative products/processes for sustainable manufacturing.