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Palavra A.M.F.,University of Lisbon | Coelho J.P.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Fareleira J.M.N.A.,University of Lisbon | Mainar A.,UZ | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Supercritical Fluids | Year: 2011

A discussion of the most interesting results obtained in our laboratories, during the supercritical CO2 extraction of bioactive compounds from microalgae and volatile oils from aromatic plants, was carried out. Concerning the microalgae, the studies on Botryococcus braunii and Chlorella vulgaris were selected. Hydrocarbons from the first microalgae, which are mainly linear alkadienes (C23-C31) with an odd number of carbon atoms, were selectively extracted at 313 K increasing the pressure up to 30.0 MPa. These hydrocarbons are easily extracted at this pressure, since they are located outside the cellular walls. The extraction of carotenoids, mainly canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, from C. vulgaris is more difficult. The extraction yield of these components at 313 K and 35.0 MPa increased with the degree of crushing of the microalga, since they are not extracellular. On the other hand, for the extraction of volatile oils from aromatic plants, studies on Mentha pulegium and Satureja montana L. were chosen. For the first aromatic plant, the composition of the volatile and essential oils was similar, the main components being the pulegone and menthone. However, this volatile oil contained small amounts of waxes, which content decreased with decreasing particle size of the plant matrix. For S. montana L. it was also observed that both oils have a similar composition, the main components being carvacrol and thymol. The main difference is the relative amount of thymoquinone, which content can be 15 times higher in volatile oil. This oxygenated monoterpene has important biological activities. Moreover, experimental studies on anticholinesterase activity of supercritical extracts of S. montana were also carried out. The supercritical nonvolatile fraction, which presented the highest content of the protocatechuic, vanilic, chlorogenic and (+)-catechin acids, is the most promising inhibitor of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase. In contrast, the Soxhlet acetone extract did not affect the activity of this enzyme at the concentrations tested. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Coelho J.P.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Mendonca A.F.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Palavra A.F.,University of Lisbon | Stateva R.P.,Bulgarian Academy of Science
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research | Year: 2011

Solubility measurements of quinizarin (1,4-dihydroxyanthraquinone), disperse red 9 (1-(methylamino) anthraquinone), and disperse blue 14 (1,4-bis(methylamino)anthraquinone) in supercritical carbon dioxide (SC CO 2) were carried out in a flow type apparatus, at a temperature range from (333.2 to 393.2) K and at pressures from (12.0 to 40.0) MPa. Mole fraction solubility of the three dyes decreases in the order quinizarin (2.9 × 10-6 to 2.9.10-4), red 9 (1.4 × 10-6 to 3.2 × 10-4), and blue 14 (7.8 × 10-8 to 2.2 × 10-5). Four semiempirical density-based models were used to correlate the solubility of the dyes in the SC CO2. From the correlation results, the total heat of reaction, heat of vaporization plus the heat of solvation of the solute, were calculated and compared with the results presented in the literature. The solubilities of the three dyes were correlated also applying the Soave-Redlich-Kwong cubic equation of state (SRK CEoS) with classical mixing rules, and the physical properties required for the modeling were estimated and reported. © 2011 American Chemical Society. Source

Silva N.A.F.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Matos M.J.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Karmali A.,Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Center | Rocha M.M.,DQB FCUL
Portugaliae Electrochimica Acta | Year: 2011

The present work reports the results concerning the development and implementation of the first electrochemical biosensor for acrylamide determination, based on a direct biochemical interaction between the analyte and intact bacterial cells, with intracellular enzymatic activity. The biological recognition element consisted of whole cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa containing intracellular amidase activity, which catalyses the hydrolysis of acrylamide producing ammonium ion (NH 4 +) and acrylic acid. The transduction process was accomplished by means of an ammonium ion selective electrode. Whole cells were firstly immobilized on single discs of polymeric membranes, such as polyethersulphone, nylon and polycarbonate, which were, then, attached to the surface of the selective electrode. However, it was observed a significant loss of cells each time the biosensor was used, namely at the beginning of the assay, when the membranes were attached to the ammonium electrode, and after the assay, when removed for storage purposes. This evidence determined a premature decrease in the biosensor's stability. Instead of using single membrane discs, a "sandwich" design, with two membrane discs was considered. This way the cells remain contained between the membranes, never contacting the electrode's surface, preventing their premature loss. Consequently, the activity of the biosensor could be maintained for longer periods of time. The analytical performance of the biosensor was evaluated. The best results were obtained when polyethersulphone double membranes were used. A typical response of 120 mV (after 6 min reaction time), a Nernstian slope of 48 mV/decade, a limit of detection of 6.31×10 -4 M and a half-life time of 27 days, are examples of some figures of merit observed for this biosensor. Source

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