Some Approaches to Eco-Friendly Products from Natural Matrices

Abstract: Since the onset of the industrial and chemical revolution, humans have caused immense damages to the surrounding flora and fauna. Effective methods for wood protection measures proved to be toxic; fossil fuels contribute to global warming and pesticides can be detected in the air, water, and soil. It is abundantly clear that efforts to find eco-friendly products are needed, while simultaneously providing the necessary incentives for sustainable worldwide development. Using renewable resources play a critical role in this shift towards circular economies.Wood has long been used as a renewable resource in high demand, but its susceptibility to attack by wood-decaying fungi mean that most European woods need to be protected against these fungi before outdoor use. We showed that fractionating turpentine, a pulp and paper mill by-product, increased antifungal efficacy by concentrating bioactive oxygenated sesquiterpenes. Based on this result, recombinations of the fractions were shown to exhibit synergistic effects that enable a more efficient product utilisation. In addition, this approach enabled putative identifications of previously unknown Picea abies turpentine constituents present at low levels.For a carbon-neutral society, production of biofuels using oleaginous yeast to convert lignocellulosic biomass into fuel has been hailed as a next-generation source of bioenergy. However, lignocellulose biofuel production by microorganisms is not straightforward and one challenge is the formation of microbe-toxic monomers, such as vanillin, during lignin degradation. The oleaginous yeast Cystobasidium laryngis and other potential oil-producing yeasts were screened for their viability and vanillin biotransformation capabilities. To this end, a mass chromatographic peak extraction tool termed TMATE was developed. Vanillyl alcohol was found to be the main product following vanillin degradation.The detrimental health and ecological effects of pesticides highlight the urgency for alternative crop protection measures, such as biological insect control and semiochemicals. In this regard, we present an essential step towards understanding the varied chemical ecology of microbe-insect interactions. Our methodology and findings provide cues with high information value that can be used to develop well-informed and potentially sustainable pest management regimes by, for example, the push-pull methodology using live yeasts.