The new projects that will be executed by the Chemical Products Department of the Technological Development Unit (UDT) of the Universidad de Concepción were awarded at the XIX version of the Annual Research and Development (R&D) Project Competition of Fondef from CONICYT.

From low interest and little value forest biomass byproducts, it is expected to obtain products with high commercial interest through various chemical conversion processes. For the above, there is a budget of over 670 million pesos, which come from state contributions through Conicyt, business contributions and UdeC.

Dr. Cecilia Fuentealba, head of the Chemical Products Department of UDT, explains: “these projects will allow exploring new alternatives to obtain commercially valuable products from raw materials that currently have no further use or interest on behalf of the industry”.

Obesity Control

The first initiative seeks to produce a drug to control obesity focused on managing food intake through the consumption of natural substances that promote appetite suppression at the metabolic level.

To do this, extracts present in seeds of some trees such as Radiata Pine will be used. One of the comparative advantages of this proposal is that the material comes from under-valued forest residues, which enables the development of a low-cost method to obtain a natural product with nutraceutical properties.

This project will be executed for three years and has a budget of $506 million pesos. In addition, it will have the support of companies such as Surlat S.A, Forestal Mininco S.A, Laboratorio Pasteur S.A. and CIDERE Bío – Bío.

Natural Control of Attacks on Wood

Wood from introduced species such as pine and eucalyptus is continually attacked by fungi and insects, which damage its integrity shortening the useful life. Currently, to fight these attacks, wood undergoes a preservation process, in which chemical substances are applied.

However, preservatives currently used in the market have a high degree of toxicity, as applied compounds (copper oxides, chromium and arsenic (CCA)) present a high risk of bioaccumulation in the environment and living beings.

That is why this project seeks to obtain a natural wood preservative through modifications of Radiata Pine and Eucalyptus Globulus extracts based on highly durable native wood structural models, which do not have these problems.

To develop this idea, the work will be carried out for two years together with companies such as Forestal Los Andes S.A, Forestal Arauco S.A and Forestal Mininco S.A. with an estimated investment of $171 million pesos.