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Special Issue "Green Compounds from Bio-Sources: Characterizations, Innovative Productions and Advanced Technological Applications"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dino Musmarra
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Real Casa dell’Annunziata, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy
Interests: innovative applications for biomass valorisation; value-added compound production; green molecule production; advanced treatment technologies; biorefinery; green extraction processes
Prof. Sante Capasso
Website
Guest Editor
University spin-off Environmental Technologies Ltd, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
Interests: green compound production; bio-molecule characterization; advanced technologies for biomass valorisation; advanced oxidation processes; advanced analytical techniques
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The production of value-added compounds from bio-sources is becoming a ground-breaking topic in both research and the industrial world because of the need to adapt the industrial sectors to sustainable, green, and source-saving production systems, as well as in the framework of the circular economy concept. The Special Issue “Green Compounds from Bio-Sources: Characterization, Innovative Production, and Advanced Technological Applications” focuses on the latest developments in the main aspects of the production of green molecules from bio and renewable sources, highlighting all the innovative technologies for their characterization, production, and sustainable application. The ambition of this Special Issue is to publish both reviews and research articles reporting and discussing modelling and experimental approaches on innovative applications for biomass valorisation, advanced technologies for the production of green by-products and value-added compounds, advanced analytical and characterization techniques of bio-molecules, biorefinery for biomass conversion and CO2 capture, and extraction technologies and purification treatments, taking into account the concepts of circular economy and green and sustainable impacts. The production of green compounds can also lead to the formation of undesired by-products that have to be removed from the environment in order to avoid any potential contamination; therefore, this Special Issue is also presenting some advanced technologies for by-product treatment.

This Special Issue aims at providing key information for the industrial sectors in which the valorisation and use of green compounds and bio-sources are fundamental topics such as pharmaceutical production, animal foods, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics.

Prof. Dr. Dino Musmarra
Prof. Sante Capasso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Innovative applications
  • Biomass valorisation
  • Value-added compound production
  • Green molecule production
  • Advanced treatment technologies
  • Bio-molecule characterization
  • Innovative technologies
  • Biorefinery
  • Extraction
  • Separation
  • Purification
  • Circular economy
  • Sustainability
  • By-product treatment
  • Advanced analytical techniques.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Dimeric Exoglucanase (GH5_38): Biochemical and Structural Characterisation towards its Application in Alkyl Cellobioside Synthesis
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030746 - 09 Feb 2020
Abstract
An exoglucanase (Exg-D) from the glycoside hydrolase family 5 subfamily 38 (GH5_38) was heterologously expressed and structurally and biochemically characterised at a molecular level for its application in alkyl glycoside synthesis. The purified Exg-D existed in both dimeric and monomeric forms in solution, [...] Read more.
An exoglucanase (Exg-D) from the glycoside hydrolase family 5 subfamily 38 (GH5_38) was heterologously expressed and structurally and biochemically characterised at a molecular level for its application in alkyl glycoside synthesis. The purified Exg-D existed in both dimeric and monomeric forms in solution, which showed highest activity on mixed-linked β-glucan (88.0 and 86.7 U/mg protein, respectively) and lichenin (24.5 and 23.7 U/mg protein, respectively). They displayed a broad optimum pH range from 5.5 to 7 and a temperature optimum from 40 to 60 °C. Kinetic studies demonstrated that Exg-D had a higher affinity towards β-glucan, with a Km of 7.9 mg/mL and a kcat of 117.2 s−1, compared to lichenin which had a Km of 21.5 mg/mL and a kcat of 70.0 s−1. The circular dichroism profile of Exg-D showed that its secondary structure consisted of 11% α-helices, 36% β-strands and 53% coils. Exg-D performed transglycosylation using p-nitrophenyl cellobioside as a glycosyl donor and several primary alcohols as acceptors to produce methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-cellobiosides. These products were identified and quantified via thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). We concluded that Exg-D is a novel and promising oligomeric glycoside hydrolase for the one-step synthesis of alkyl glycosides with more than one monosaccharide unit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phytofabrication of Silver/Silver Chloride Nanoparticles Using Aqueous Leaf Extract of Oedera genistifolia: Characterization and Antibacterial Potential
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4382; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234382 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this present study, silver nanoparticles (Ag/AgCl NPs) were synthesized using an aqueous leaf extract of Oedera genistifolia as a reducing agent. The biosynthesized Ag/AgCl NPs was characterized by UV-visible spectrophotometry, transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy [...] Read more.
In this present study, silver nanoparticles (Ag/AgCl NPs) were synthesized using an aqueous leaf extract of Oedera genistifolia as a reducing agent. The biosynthesized Ag/AgCl NPs was characterized by UV-visible spectrophotometry, transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). In addition, sequel to antibacterial assay, the cytotoxic effect of the phytofabricated Ag/AgCl NPs was assessed against the HeLa cell line (human cervix adenocarcinoma). The results of the characterization of the synthesized Ag/AgCl NPs indicate the successful synthesis using plant extract as a reducing agent, with UV-Vis spectra between 290–360 nm. TEM results showed that Ag/AgCl NPs was spherical in shape with an average size of 34.2 nm. EDX analysis revealed that the particles were predominantly composed of carbon, oxygen, chlorine, and silver, while FTIR identified major phytochemical compounds, which could be responsible for bio-reducing and capping potential. XRD analysis showed the crystallinity of Ag/AgCl NPs, with a face-centred cubic structure. The studied Ag/AgCl NPs had no cytotoxic effect on HeLa cells and exhibited antibacterial activity (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.25–1 mg/mL; minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) 2–16 mg/mL) against both the Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria investigated. Findings from this study suggest that this plant as a good candidate for producing new antibacterial drugs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Synthetic Characteristics of Biomass-Derived Isosorbide-Based Poly(arylene ether ketone)s for Sustainable Super Engineering Plastic
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2492; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132492 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Demand for the development of novel polymers derived from biomass that can replace petroleum resources has been increasing. In this study, biomass-derived isosorbide was used as a monomer in the polymerization of poly(arylene ether ketone)s, and its synthetic characteristics were investigated. As a [...] Read more.
Demand for the development of novel polymers derived from biomass that can replace petroleum resources has been increasing. In this study, biomass-derived isosorbide was used as a monomer in the polymerization of poly(arylene ether ketone)s, and its synthetic characteristics were investigated. As a phase-transfer catalyst, crown ether has increased the weight-average molecular weight of polymers over 100 kg/mol by improving the reaction efficiency of isosorbide and minimizing the effect of moisture. By controlling the experimental parameters such as halogen monomer, polymerization solvent, time, and temperature, the optimal conditions were found to be fluorine-type monomer, dimethyl sulfoxide, 24 h, and 155 °C, respectively. Biomass contents from isosorbide-based polymers were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance and accelerator mass spectroscopy. The synthesized polymer resulted in a high molecular weight that enabled the preparation of transparent polymer films by the solution casting method despite its weak thermal degradation stability compared to aromatic polysulfone. The melt injection molding process was enabled by the addition of plasticizer. The tensile properties were comparable or superior to those of commercial petrochemical specimens of similar molecular weight. Interestingly, the prepared specimens exhibited a significantly lower coefficient of thermal expansion at high temperatures over 150 °C compared to polysulfone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Isosorbide-Based Self-Healable Polyurethane Elastomers with Thermally Reversible Bonds
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061061 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Polyurethane (PU) is a versatile polymer used in a wide range of applications. Recently, imparting PU with self-healing properties has attracted much interest to improve the product durability. The self-healing mechanism conceivably occurs through the existence of dynamic reversible bonds over a specific [...] Read more.
Polyurethane (PU) is a versatile polymer used in a wide range of applications. Recently, imparting PU with self-healing properties has attracted much interest to improve the product durability. The self-healing mechanism conceivably occurs through the existence of dynamic reversible bonds over a specific temperature range. The present study investigates the self-healing properties of 1,4:3,6-dianhydrohexitol-based PUs prepared from a prepolymer of poly(tetra-methylene ether glycol) and 4,4′-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) with different chain extenders (isosorbide or isomannide). PU with the conventional chain extender 1,4-butanediol was prepared for comparison. The urethane bonds in 1,4:3,6-dianhydrohexitol-based PUs were thermally reversible (as confirmed by the generation of isocyanate peaks observed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) at mildly elevated temperatures and the PUs showed good mechanical properties. Especially the isosorbide-based polyurethane showed potential self-healing ability under mild heat treatment, as observed in reprocessing tests. It is inferred that isosorbide, bio-based bicyclic diol, can be employed as an efficient chain extender of polyurethane prepolymers to improve self-healing properties of polyurethane elastomers via reversible features of the urethane bonds. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Sorption of Organic Pollutants by Humic Acids: A Review
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040918 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Humic acids (HA) are promising green materials for water and wastewater treatment. They show a strong ability to sorb cationic and hydrophobic organic pollutants. Cationic compounds interact mainly by electrostatic interaction with the deprotonated carboxylic groups of HA. Other functional groups of HA [...] Read more.
Humic acids (HA) are promising green materials for water and wastewater treatment. They show a strong ability to sorb cationic and hydrophobic organic pollutants. Cationic compounds interact mainly by electrostatic interaction with the deprotonated carboxylic groups of HA. Other functional groups of HA such as quinones, may form covalent bonds with aromatic ammines or similar organic compounds. Computational and experimental works show that the interaction of HA with hydrophobic organics is mainly due to π–π interactions, hydrophobic effect and hydrogen bonding. Several works report that sorbing efficiency is related to the hydrophobicity of the sorbate. Papers about the interaction between organic pollutants and humic acids dissolved in solution, in the solid state and adsorbed onto solid particles, like aluminosilicates and magnetic materials, are reviewed and discussed. A short discussion of the thermodynamics and kinetics of the sorption process, with indication of the main mistakes reported in literature, is also given. Full article
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