Research Topic

Exploring the Potential of Natural Products through Advanced Techniques and Green Solvents

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About this Research Topic

Nature includes a complex combination of plants, animals, insects and microorganisms which are capable of producing a wide range of chemical compounds with interesting properties that can be explored in many ways. From the replacement of synthetic additives in food due to health concerns, to the production of ...

Nature includes a complex combination of plants, animals, insects and microorganisms which are capable of producing a wide range of chemical compounds with interesting properties that can be explored in many ways. From the replacement of synthetic additives in food due to health concerns, to the production of second-generation ethanol from biomass, science is increasingly discovering the potential of natural products, which is gradually changing the world and reshaping society.

However, several aspects must be considered when using natural products, including effectiveness and negative effects on health, the processes used, costs and environment impact, ensuring standardized quality due to natural variation, consumer acceptance, etc.

Due to the increasing importance of natural products, advances in technology and new processes and methods used for the extraction, separation, purification, transformation and analysis are constantly being made.

Although advances have been made, the challenge of developing new techniques and more efficient, greener, faster and cheaper methods is still a pressing need. The use of green solvents, such as CO2, water and biobased solvents are of particular interest since they can greatly contribute to lower environmental impact, improved selectivity and yield, especially when combined with advanced and innovative techniques. Supercritical fluid technology deserves attention due to the promise of eliminating toxic and contaminant solvents from processes. Extraction of hydrophobic compounds using supercritical CO2, hydrolysis of cellulose from biomass using subcritical water are only a few examples of the potential to be explored. Another example is ultrasound, which is widely used for the intensification of processes and has been explored in several new technologies and methods. Microwaves and electric fields are also alternative processing techniques that are currently being explored, with the potential to significantly increase efficiency.

Additionally, it is still necessary to generate information about optimal conditions and the influence processing parameters such as temperature, pressure, power, processing time, raw material characteristics, stability, etc. in order to truly understand the mechanisms involved and use the knowledge to develop new technologies.

This Research Topic welcomes the submission of high-quality manuscripts concerning greener and more sustainable chemistry of extracting natural products. The main topics of interest but not limited to, are:

- Advanced extraction techniques: Extraction with pressurized liquids, supercritical fluid extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, ultrasound-assisted extraction, electric field extraction, etc.
- Advanced reaction techniques: Sub and supercritical water hydrolysis and gasefication, reactions in supercritical medium, etc.
- Adsorbent based separation techniques: solid-phase extraction, imprinted polymers, etc.
- Precipitation and particle formation with green techniques
- On-line coupling and Hyphenation between processes and techniques
- Analytical and preparative chromatographic separations


Keywords: green solvents, extraction, supercritical fluids, sustainable chemistry, natural products


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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