Revalorization of Cheese Whey Through a Biorefinery Scheme
Caltzontzin Rabell, Valeria
Gutierrez Antonio, Claudia

How to Cite

Caltzontzin Rabell V., Gutierrez Antonio C., 2024, Revalorization of Cheese Whey Through a Biorefinery Scheme, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 109, 241-246.


Cheese whey is a by-product of cheese production. This waste, of which almost 145 million tons are generated annually, is of interest because of the management it requires; improper handling can cause adverse environmental impacts due to its high organic load and nutrient content. Although the treatment depends on its origin, anaerobic digestion is the most widely used from which methane can be obtained. In this way, several proposals for its treatment through biorefinery schemes have been proposed. However, treatment with insects and their inclusion in biorefinery schemes, specifically with black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens), has not been proposed. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) have stood out for their effectiveness in treating large quantities of waste. Once BSFL biotransform waste into larval biomass, they are harvested for feed or their oil is extracted and transformed into biodiesel. Other products of interest include some peptides with antioxidant capacity and compounds with antimicrobial activity. To our knowledge, there are no reports on the treatment of cheese whey with BSFL; therefore, this work aims to propose a biorefinery scheme to convert this waste into value-added using BSFL. After reviewing the literature, a value-added product (antimicrobial extract) and a biofuel (biodiesel) were selected. Regarding the antimicrobial extract, activity against Salmonella spp. bacteria was observed. Finally, biodiesel was obtained from the fat. It is possible to get at least one value-added product and biofuel in a biorefinery scheme using BSFL as a biological treatment.