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Alba Calvo García

I, Alba Calvo, finished a Diploma of Chemical Engineering from the University of Valladolid, Spain (UVA) in 2010. I performed my Master Thesis at Ghent University, (Belgium). After graduation I completed a Postgraduate course on Environmental Engineering and Management at the Spain’s School for Industrial Organisation and worked at the engineering department of a water company in Madrid, collaborating on the design and development of desalination plants. I currently work as a Marie Curie PhD student at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) in Budapest, (Hungary) on the topic ‘Extraction and fractionation of biologically active components from plant materials using benign solvents’ supervised by assoc. prof. Edit Székely

Extraction and fractionation of biologically active components using benign solvents. Abstract. Obtainment and further fractionation of bioactive components from different plant materials is evaluated by using supercritical fluid extraction and conventional solvents. Supercritical fluids have been widely used to extract target components from varied matrices, at analytical and commercial scales. This is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional organic solvent extraction. Organic solvent clean products can be obtained, and their natural properties are preserved due to the moderate temperatures used. The most widely used supercritical solvent for this purpose is carbon dioxide, typically in the ranges of 10-50 MPa pressures and 35-80°C temperatures. The focus of this work is to extract and fractionate bioactive natural products as polyphenols (proanthocyanidins) and fatty acids from grape seeds (Vitis vinifera), as well as alkaloids and triterpenes from the bark of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa). A two-step process will be developed, consisting in a conventional alcoholic Soxhlet extraction followed by supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide using optimised conditions. Controllable ratios of the major biologically active components offer the possibility of tailor made product development as food additive or supplement or for cosmetic purposes.

Coordinator's office:
Dr. S. Kareth
IC 3/65
Chair for Process Technology
Faculty Mechanical Engineering
Ruhr-University Bochum
D-44780 Bochum, Germany
e-mail: Kareth@vtp.rub.de