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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 207, 2016, Pages: 102–108


Co-fermentation of acetate and sugars facilitating microbial lipid production on acetate-rich biomass hydrolysates

Zhiwei Gong, Wenting Zhou, Hongwei Shen, Zhonghua Yang, Guanghui Wang, Zhenyu Zuo, Yali Hou, Zongbao K. Zhao

College of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, 947 Heping Road, Wuhan 430081, PR China.

Abstract

The process of lignocellulosic biomass routinely produces a stream that contains sugars plus various amounts of acetic acid. As acetate is known to inhibit the culture of microorganisms including oleaginous yeasts, little attention has been paid to explore lipid production on mixtures of acetate and sugars. Here we demonstrated that the yeastCryptococcus curvatus can effectively co-ferment acetate and sugars for lipid production. When mixtures of acetate and glucose were applied, C. curvatus consumed both substrates simultaneously. Similar phenomena were also observed for acetate and xylose mixtures, as well as acetate-rich corn stover hydrolysates. More interestingly, the replacement of sugar with equal amount of acetate as carbon source afforded higher lipid titre and lipid content. The lipid products had fatty acid compositional profiles similar to those of cocoa butter, suggesting their potential for high value-added fats and biodiesel production. This co-fermentation strategy should facilitate lipid production technology from lignocelluloses.

Keywords: Co-fermentation; Cryptococcus curvatus; Acetic acid; Microbial lipid; Corn stover hydrolysates.

 
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