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Large amounts of agricultural wastes are rich in pectins that, in many cases, disrupt the processing of food residues due to gelation. Despite pectins being a promising sustainable feedstock for bio-based chemical production, the current pathways to produce platform molecules from this polysaccharide are hazardous and entail the use of strong acids. The present work describes a sequence of biocatalyzed reactions that involves 1) the extraction of pectin from sugar beet pulp and enzymatic recovery of galacturonic acid (GalA), followed by 2) the enzymatic oxidation of the GalA aldehyde and the recovery of galactaric acid (GA), and 3) the biocatalyzed polycondensation of GA to obtain fully bio-based polyesters carrying lateral hydroxy functionalities. The acid-free pectin extraction is optimized using enzymes and microwave technology. The conditions for enzymatic oxidation of GalA allow the separation of the GA produced by a simple centrifugation step that leads to the enzyme-catalyzed polycondensation reactions.
Bibliographical note© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
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