Brewers’ spent grain (BSG) accounts for 85% of the total amount of by-products generated by the brewing industries. BSG is a lignocellulosic biomass that is rich in proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins. In the present study, BSG was subjected to pretreatment by two different methods (microwave assisted alkaline pretreatment and organosolv) and was evaluated for the liberation of glucose and xylose during enzymatic saccharification trials. The highest amount of glucose (46.45 ± 1.43 g/L) and xylose (25.15 ± 1.36 g/L) were observed after enzymatic saccharification of the organosolv pretreated BSG. The glucose and xylose yield for the microwave assisted alkaline pretreated BSG were 34.86 ± 1.27 g/L and 16.54 ± 2.1 g/L, respectively. The hydrolysates from the organosolv pretreated BSG were used as substrate for the cultivation of the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides,
aiming to produce microbial lipids. The yeast synthesized as high as 18.44 ± 0.96 g/L of cell dry weight and 10.41 ± 0.34 g/L lipids (lipid content of 56.45 ± 0.76%) when cultivated on BSG hydrolysate with a C/N ratio of 500. The cell dry weight, total lipid concentration and lipid content were higher compared to the results obtained when grown on synthetic media containing glucose, xylose or mixture of glucose and xylose. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report using hydrolysates of organosolv pretreated BSG for the growth and lipid production of oleaginous yeast in literature. The lipid profile of this oleaginous yeast showed similar fatty acid contents to vegetable oils, which can result in good biodiesel properties of the produced biodiesel.
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