I am a PhD student in the Department of Food Engineering of the University of Gaziantep, Turkey. The main areas of my study are the use of microwave technology to produce enriched oils and encapsulation of the enriched oils using innovative techniques. In my studies, waste or by-products are used to achieve the enrichment of oils. 

Thanks to BRISK2 I had the opportunity of visiting National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG) in Lisbon. This laboratory is especially dedicated to the biomass pre-treatment, and it has all required facilities for process development and feedstock and product characterization. 

The aim of the visit was to investigate the effect of CO2 on the pre-treatment of sunflower seed husk. Sunflower seed husk was ground using a knife mill to particles smaller than 1.5 mm. Compositional analysis of sunflower seed husk was determined by using treatment with 72% (w/w) H2SO4. The CO2-assisted hydrothermal pre-treatments of sunflower seed husk were performed in a stainless steel 600 mL reactor (series 4560, Parr Instruments Company, Moline, Illinois, USA). The effect of CO2-assisted pre-treatment conditions, namely temperature and pre-treatment time, on sunflower seed husk was evaluated. The compositions of the processed solids after pre-treatments were determined. During the fourteen-day visit at LNEG, the planned activities were successfully completed. 

The CO2-assisted hydrothermal treatment induced the production of oligosaccharides as the main soluble products together with pre-treated solids, which can undergo the enzymatic hydrolysis. Both fractions have potential to be used in diverse areas including food additives, the energy and chemical.  

In conclusion, BRISK2 project gave me the opportunity to access to unique equipment and gain knowledge in the field of the biomass processing. This experience has provided also the opportunity of possible future international co-operation between the two institutions. 


I am thankful to Dr. Łukasik for valuable comments, the support and encouragement, whenever I was in need. I also want to thank all the kind personnel at LNEG for their care and precious friendship during my stay.