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Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume 298, 2021, 126798

Effective and economic microbial lipid biosynthesis for biodiesel production by two-phase whole-cell biocatalytic process

Wujun Liua,c,1, Weifeng Maoa,1, Cuili Zhanga, Lusi Liua, Zehui Zhangb, Chunmei Guob, Jintao Lina

Department of Biotechnology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, 116044, PR China.


Efficient and economical production of renewable fuels and chemicals requires the co-utilization of sugars derived from lignocellulosic biomass as feedstock. Herein, Rhodosporidium toruloides cells were employed to produce microbial lipid via co-fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass-derived non-sterile sugars. In this study, we found that Rhodosporidium toruloides was very effective lipid biosynthesis yeast for co-fermenting of lignocellulosic biomass-derived sugars through the two-phase whole-cell biocatalytic process. Moreover, under the two-phase biosynthesis condition, the lipid production of non-sterile fermentation was higher than that of sterile fermentation. Accordingly, the two-phase whole-cell biocatalytic process for lipid biosynthesis can reduce the energy consume for the sterilization. Especially high lipid productivity was achieved from mixed sugars solution without sterility in bioreactor. After incubation for 47 h in bioreactor, the biomass, lipid and lipid contents were achieved in 56.8 gL-1, 92.7 gL-1 and 61.3%, respectively. Co-fermenting of lignocellulosic biomass-derived sugars may reduce the cost of lipid production. Fermentation of non-sterile condition can further decrease the cost of sterilization steam and cooling water by 357 RMB/ton (about 55 USD/ton). The composition of fatty acid was consistent with common plant oils and was suitable as feedstock for biodiesel production. The results of the present work show that the two-phase whole-cell biocatalytic process has a great potential in industrial lipid biosynthesis for biodiesel production.

Keywords: Microbial lipid, Biodiesel, Lignocellulosic biomass-derived sugars, Lipid biosynthesis, Two-phase whole-cell biocatalytic process, Rhodosporidium toruloides.

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