A new green chemistry route for the production of aromas

A “truly green” and “eco-friendly” alternative route with many additional favorable characteristics to produce aromatic flavor compounds. These compounds can be used in the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

Title of the patent Production of aldehydes by oxidation in aqueous medium with selective recovery of the product by means of pervaporation
Thematic area Chemistry and biotechnology
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Inventors Giovanni Camera Roda, Vincenzo Augugliaro, Vittorio Loddo, Leonardo Palmisano, Giovanni Palmisano
Protection France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Switzerland, USA
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords aldehydes, photo catalysis, membrane process, green chemistry, sustainability
Filed on Jun 11, 2010

The application of aldehydes as aromas to enrich the flavor of different types of products is exceptionally widespread and the utilization of eco-friendly aromas gives an extra value to the final product without severely affecting its cost since only very small quantities of these compounds are required.

The invention can be applied for the synthesis of many different aldehydes and for instance it has been tested for the production of the two most important aromatic flavor compounds: vanillin and benzaldehyde, whose market is really significant.

The process is very simple and safe under the aspect of the equipment, of the control and of the operation,  but it is technologically advanced and presents some analogies with the natural production process (possibility of using solar radiation, absence of chemical additives, natural precursors).

Many aromas (e.g. vanillin), have been be obtained by a photo catalytic process which encompasses all the requirements of green chemistry. With this method the production takes easily place in relatively short times, at mild conditions (low temperatures and atmospheric pressure), in aqueous solution, without any addition of chemicals except the starting (natural) precursor.

  • improvement of the yield and of the selectivity
  • a satisfactory purification of the product
  • low energy demand for the separation step
  • green process
  • modularity
  • possibility of choice between continuous or discontinuous (batch) processing

F. Parrino;G. Camera-Roda;V. Loddo;G. Palmisano;V. Augugliaro, Combination of ozonation and photocatalysis for purification of aqueous effluents containing formic acid as probe pollutant and bromide ion, «WATER RESEARCH», 2014, 50, pp. 189 - 199

Giovanni Camera Roda; Antonio Cardillo; Vittorio Loddo; Leonardo Palmisano; Francesco Parrino, Improvement of Membrane Performances to Enhance the Yield of Vanillin in a Pervaporation Reactor, «MEMBRANES», 2014, 4, pp. 96 - 112 

G. Camera-Roda;V. Augugliaro;A. Cardillo;V. Loddo;G. Palmisano;L. Palmisano, A pervaporation photocatalytic reactor for the green synthesis of vanillin, «CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL», 2013, 224, pp. 136 - 143

G. Camera-Roda; V. Augugliaro; V. Loddo; L. Palmisano, Pervaporation membrane reactors, in: Handbook of Membrane Reactors. Volume 2: Reactor types and industrial applications, Cambridge, Woodhead Publishing Limited, 2013, pp. 107 - 151 (WOODHEAD PUBLISHING IN ENERGY)

Giovanni Camera-Roda; Antonio Gaetano Cardillo; Francesco Santarelli, Analysis and design of a pervaporation photocatalytic reactor, in: Convegno GRICU 2012 – Dalla nanoscala alla macroscala, 2012, pp. 395 - 398 (atti di: Convegno GRICU 2012 – Dalla nanoscala alla macroscala, Montesilvano (PE), 16-19 Settembre 2012) 

Camera-Roda; Santarelli F., Design of a Pervaporation Photocatalytic Reactor for Process Intensification, «CHEMICAL ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY», 2012, 35, pp. 1221 - 1228 [Scientific article]

V. Augugliaro; G. Camera Roda; V. Loddo; G Palmisano; L. Palmisano; F. Parrino; M. A. Puma, Synthesis of vanillin in water by TiO2 photocatalysis, «APPLIED CATALYSIS. B, ENVIRONMENTAL», 2012, 111-112, pp. 555 - 561

F. Parrino; V. Augugliaro; G. Camera Roda; V. Loddo; G. Palmisano; L. Palmisano; M. A. Puma, Visible Light Induced Oxidation of Ferulic Acid by TiO2 Photocatalysis, in: Book of Proceedings, 7th EUROPEAN MEETING ON SOLAR CHEMISTRY AND PHOTOCATALYSIS: ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS, Porto, Sociedade Portuguesa de Química, 2012, pp. 68 - 70

F. Parrino;V. Augugliaro;G. Camera-Roda;V. Loddo;M.J. López-Muñoz;C. Márquez-Álvarez;G. Palmisano;L. Palmisano;M.A. Puma, Visible-light-induced oxidation of trans-ferulic acid by TiO2 photocatalysis, «JOURNAL OF CATALYSIS», 2012, 295, pp. 254 - 260 

G. Camera-Roda; F. Santarelli; V. Augugliaro; V. Loddo; G. Palmisano; L. Palmisano; S. Yurdakal, Photocatalytic process intensification by coupling with pervaporation, «CATALYSIS TODAY», 2011, 161, pp. 209 - 213