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Complex media from processing of agricultural crops for microbial fermentation

Thomsen, Mette Hedegaard
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2005 v.68 no.5 pp. 598-606
bioenergy, biorefining, corn steep liquor, crops, drying, industry, juices, lactic fermentation, lysine, polylactic acid, prices, purchasing, Denmark
This mini-review describes the concept of the green biorefinery and lists a number of suitable agricultural by-products, which can be used for production of bioenergy and/or biochemicals. A process, in which one possible agricultural by-product from the green crop drying industry, brown juice, is converted to a basic, universal fermentation medium by lactic acid fermentation, is outlined. The resulting all-round fermentation medium can be used for the production of many useful fermentation products when added a carbohydrate source, which could possibly be another agricultural by-product. Two examples of such products--polylactic acid and l-lysine--are given. A cost calculation shows that this fermentation medium can be produced at a very low cost [almost equal to]1.7 Euro cent/kg, when taking into account that the green crop industry has expenses amounting to 270,000 Euro/year for disposal of the brown juice. A newly built lysine factory in Esbjerg, Denmark, can benefit from this process by buying a low price medium for the fermentation process instead of more expensive traditional fermentation liquids such as corn steep liquor.