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Lipid production from corn stover by the oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus

Gong, Zhiwei, Shen, Hongwei, Yang, Xiaobing, Wang, Qian, Xie, Haibo, Zhao, Zongbao K
Biotechnology for biofuels 2014 v.7 no.1 pp. 158
beta-glucosidase, biodiesel, biomass, corn stover, cost effectiveness, endo-1,4-beta-glucanase, enzymatic hydrolysis, feedstocks, hydrolysates, hydrolysis, industry, lignocellulose, lipids, recycling, saccharification, wastewater, xylanases, yeasts
BACKGROUND: Microbial lipids produced from lignocellulosic biomass hold great promise for the biodiesel industry. These lipids usually consist of three major processes: pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and lipid production. However, the conventional strategy of using biomass hydrolysates as the feedstock for lipid production suffers from low lipid coefficient and prohibitively high costs. More cost-effective and integrated processes are required to advance lignocellulosic biomass-based microbial lipid technology. RESULTS: Three different strategies were tested using the oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus ATCC 20509 as a lipid producer and alkaline-pretreated corn stover as a model material. It was found that the separate hydrolysis and enhanced lipid production process required more cellulolytic enzymes yet afforded a low lipid coefficient of 115.6 mg/g pretreated corn stover. When biomass hydrolysis and lipid production were integrated, the amounts of cellulase and xylanase were reduced and no β-glucosidase was required. The simultaneous saccharification and lipid production process gave a lipid coefficient of 129.4 mg/g pretreated corn stover. A higher lipid coefficient of 159.4 mg/g pretreated corn stover was obtained using the simultaneous saccharification and enhanced lipid production (SSELP) process. Furthermore, cellulolytic enzymes were found recoverable and reusable upon recycling the spent supernatants of the SSELP process, which could reduce enzyme consumption and wastewater discharge. CONCLUSIONS: The SSELP process was superior to other processes in terms of converting alkaline-pretreated corn stover into lipids by C. curvatus, as it required less cellulolytic enzymes and had a higher lipid coefficient. Moreover, the process facilitated easy enzyme recycling that should lead to further reduction of enzyme consumption. These results provide valuable information for cost-effective lipid production from lignocelluloses, which should be particularly important in achieving a sustainable production of biodiesel.