Torreon, Coahuila. Students from the School of Biological Sciences of the Torreon Unit of the Autonomous University of Coahuila (UAdeC) won first place in basic sciences for high-level and best high-level projects at the National Science and Engineering Fair of Coahuila 2020.
“Protein analysis of hydrolyzed enzymes in biodegraders fed by industrial and agro-waste” is the name of his project and consists of developing renewable energy based on waste in stables.
The team consists of Alicia Guadalupe Talavera Caro, Alejandra Sanchez Muñoz, Ante Omar Hernandez de Lyra, Irem Yed Hernandez Almanza, Maria de Las Mercedes Esparza Piroschia, as well as advisor Nagamani Palagurossami.
In this regard, Alicia, the biochemical engineering student at the Foundation, explained that in La Laguna a large amount of agricultural waste, such as manure and lignocellulose residues from the crop harvest, is generated by the livestock and agricultural sectors.
Managing this organic waste, by treating anaerobic digestion, produces bioenergy and enables to reduce the costs of the stables.
It is important to highlight that biogas must consist of a minimum of 60 percent of methane, to be used as biofuel.
However, many problems occur when this percentage is reached because it is the product of the activity of at least eleven different groups of microorganisms.
It is for this reason that various studies have been conducted to increase its focus on renewable energy generation.
Generating clean energy using this technology in Mexico and Coahuila state is an important strategy in the search for the country’s energy transition. This results in many advantages related to the environment, job creation and economic activity with great potential. “
Currently in Comarca Lagunera there are about 300 dairy farms, with a set of 60 to 80 bio-digesters installed. However, only a fraction of these function optimally in terms of methane percentage.
Most vital digestive systems are not fully functional in producing vital energy.
There are no specific studies that can assist in understanding the problems related to low methane productivity and thus be able to develop appropriate strategies to recover the bioenergy present in these wastes.
In connection with this, the analysis of the main problems that arise in these biotic factors is crucial, in order to contribute concretely to the increase in methane and the stabilization of vital digestive systems.
On the one hand, this project used anaerobic digestion process to generate renewable energy and address the problem of high accumulation of organic waste and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
The main strategy was to use molecular tools such as metagenomics and proteomics that help in early identification of problems or failures in vital digestive systems, and allow corrective measures to be taken to improve and increase methane production, as well as contribute to the development of the circular economy of the stables of La Laguna.
“In this study, we chose to evaluate the expressed proteins and functions of hydrolytic enzymes, which are essential and actively involved during the process in the decomposition of residues to generate methane.”
The proteins involved in the process with different biological functions that show the activity of microorganisms, specifically carbohydrate consumption, have been identified. Based on the results obtained in this study, we can link the activity profiles of the different enzymes that degrade biopolymers to the anaerobic digestion process, allowing for real-time monitoring of the changes occurring in the biodegradation apparatus. ”
Physical and chemical parameters are often used to monitor the functioning of vital digestive systems, however, they do not allow immediate corrections and cause complete failure of the biodegradation apparatus due to inhibition of methanogens by the accumulation of inhibitory compounds.
However, the results of this study show that protein biomarkers are an innovative method for detecting failures in real time, allowing early measures to be taken, avoiding malfunctions, thus improving the increase in energy recovery, and facilitating the development of a circular economy.
- There are 300 stables in La Laguna.
- There are 60 to 80 vital digestive systems.