Integrated Green Chemical Approach to the Medicinal Plant Carpobrotus edulis Processing

Sergiy Lyubchyk, Olesia Shapovalova, Olena Lygina, Maria Conceiçao Oliveira, Nurbol Appazov, Andriy Lyubchyk, Adilia Januário Charmier, Svetlana Lyubchik, Armando J. L. Pombeiro

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Abstract

Many plants have medicinal properties due to substances known as phytochemicals. To utilize these plants in practice, numerous procedures, such as extraction, isolation and characterization methods and toxicology and bioactivity studies, must be designed and implemented. Integrated approach to process Carpobrotus edulis, a weed medicinal plant widely spread in Portugal, was developed into a closed loop of two processes: microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and activation (MAA), to produce both phytochemicals and biochar. The use of MAE for phytochemical extraction was shown to be more energy efficient than conventional Soxhlet extraction: the process time was decreased by 7–8 times, and the energy efficiency was increased by up to 97%. The yield of the extracts is of 27%. Qualitative and quantitative identification/characterization of the phytochemicals were performed by LC-MS and phytochemical screening assays. The results clearly indicated that Carpobrotus edulis is rich by flavonoids (up to 24%). The use of MAA to process the residual biomass could shorten the activation time, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Biochar with a high yield of 65% (on a biomass basis) and a well-developed texture (surface area of 68.9 m2/g; total pore volume of 0.10 cm3/g; micropore volume of 0.07 cm3/g) is obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18171
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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