Greener strategy for lupanine purification from lupin beans wastewaters using a molecularly imprinted polymer
Lupanine is an alkaloid used in the pharma industry as a building block or precursor in the synthesis of sparteine and also explored for drug synthesis in the pharma industry as a chiral selector. This alkaloid is found in lupin bean processing wastewaters originated from the debittering process to make these beans edible. In this work, a computational chemistry approach was taken to design molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) selecting itaconic acid, a biobased building block, as a functional monomer that can provide higher affinities for lupanine. MIP-1 was prepared using lupanine as the template, itaconic acid as a functional monomer, and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a cross-linker by bulk polymerization. Lupanine was concentrated from lupin bean wastewater by nanofiltration, extracted with ethyl acetate, and purified using the synthesized MIP. MIP-1 was able to selectively recognize lupanine and improve the purity of lupanine from 78 to 88%, with 82% recovery of the alkaloid. These results show the potential application of this strategy to render the industrial process more sustainable.