Potential of Wickerhamomyces Anomalus in Glycerol Valorization
Amaretti, Alberto
Russo, Benedetta
Raimondi, Stefano
Leonardi, Alan
Foca, Giorgia
Mucci, Adele
Zambon, Alfonso
Rossi, Maddalena
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Amaretti A., Russo B., Raimondi S., Leonardi A., Foca G., Mucci A., Zambon A., Rossi M., 2020, Potential of Wickerhamomyces Anomalus in Glycerol Valorization, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 79, 19-24.
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Five-carbons polyalcohols, such as xylitol and arabitol, and microbial oils are important targets for biotechnological industries. Polyalcohols can find application as low-calories sweeteners and as building block in the synthesis of valuable compounds, while lipids are interesting for both biofuel and food industry. The osmophilic yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus WC 1501 was preliminary known to produce arabitol from glycerol. Production kinetics were investigated in this study. Production was not growth-associated and occurred during a nitrogen-limited stationary phase, in presence of an excess of carbon source. Typical bioreactor batch cultures, carried out with 160 g/L glycerol, yielded 16.0 g/L arabitol in 160 h. A fed-batch process was developed, in which growth is carried out batchwise in a balanced medium containing 20 g/L glycerol, and arabitol production is induced at the entrance into the stationary phase with a pulse of concentrated glycerol to provide the remaining 140 g/L carbon source. At the end of the process 18.0 g/L arabitol were generated. Under these conditions, the yeast also accumulated intracellular triacylglycerols, with fatty acids of 16-18 carbons bearing 0 to 2 unsaturations, reaching up the 23% of biomass dry weight. Therefore, W. anomalus WC 1501 is a good candidate for the development of a fermentative process yielding arabitol and has potential also as oleaginous yeast for producing lipids, further improving the interest in this strain for glycerol biorefinery. The utilization of a fed-batch process allows to carry out distinct growth and production phases and thus allows the optimization of both phases separately, in order to achieve the highest concentration of catalytic biomass during growth and the maximum efficiency during production. This strain deserves further investigation to better exploit its biotechnological potential in the valorization of glycerol.
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