Using crude glycerol and thin stillage for the production of microbial lipids through the cultivation of Rhodotorula glutinis
Single cell oils (SCO) produced from oleaginous microorganisms are a potential alternative oil feedstock for biodiesel production. The worldwide production of glycerol, a 10% (w/w) byproduct produced in the transesterfication process of oils converted to biodiesel, is increasing as more biodiesel is being produced. For the purposes of cost reduction, crude glycerol was regarded as a suitable carbon source for the cultivation of Rhodotorula glutinis. In addition to using renewable crude glycerol, waste solution collected from the brewing company (called thin stillage) was adopted as a substitute to replace a costly nitrogen source used in the medium. The results of using mixture of crude glycerol and thin stillage indicated about a 27% increase in total biomass as compared to that of using crude glycerol with a standard medium. Using glycerol instead of glucose as the carbon source could also alter the lipid profile, resulting in an increase in linolenic acid (C18:2) to comprise over 20% of the total lipid. Successfully using renewable crude glycerol and thin stillage for the cultivation of oleaginous microorganisms could greatly enhance the economic competition of biodiesel produced from SCO.
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 114, Issue 4, October 2012, Pages 453–456