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Review

Potential Valorization of Organic Waste Streams to Valuable Organic Acids through Microbial Conversion: A South African Case Study

Department of Microbiology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
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Academic Editors: Jinguang Hu, Fei Shen and Brett I. Pletschke
Catalysts 2021, 11(8), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080964
Received: 15 July 2021 / Revised: 27 July 2021 / Accepted: 3 August 2021 / Published: 12 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Valorization)
The notion of a “biobased economy” in the context of a developing country such as South Africa (SA) necessitates the development of technologies that utilize sustainable feedstocks, have simple and robust operations, are feasible at small scale and produce a variety of valuable bioproducts, thus fitting the biorefinery concept. This case study focuses on the microbial production of higher-value products from selected organic waste streams abundant in the South African agricultural sector using microbes adapted to utilize different parts of biomass waste streams. A ruminant-based carboxylate platform based on mixed or undefined anaerobic co-cultures of rumen microorganisms can convert the carbohydrate polymers in the lignocellulosic part of organic waste streams to carboxylic acids that can be upgraded to biofuels or green chemicals. Furthermore, yeast and fungi can convert the simpler carbohydrates (such as the sugars and malic acid in grape and apple pomace) to ethanol and high-value carboxylic acids, such as lactic, fumaric, succinic and citric acid. This review will discuss the combinational use of the ruminal carboxylate platform and native or recombinant yeasts to valorize biomass waste streams through the production of higher-value organic acids with various applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: biorefinery; carboxylate platform; rumen microorganisms; microbial bioconversion; organic acids; fruit pomace biorefinery; carboxylate platform; rumen microorganisms; microbial bioconversion; organic acids; fruit pomace
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MDPI and ACS Style

Njokweni, S.G.; Steyn, A.; Botes, M.; Viljoen-Bloom, M.; van Zyl, W.H. Potential Valorization of Organic Waste Streams to Valuable Organic Acids through Microbial Conversion: A South African Case Study. Catalysts 2021, 11, 964. https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080964

AMA Style

Njokweni SG, Steyn A, Botes M, Viljoen-Bloom M, van Zyl WH. Potential Valorization of Organic Waste Streams to Valuable Organic Acids through Microbial Conversion: A South African Case Study. Catalysts. 2021; 11(8):964. https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080964

Chicago/Turabian Style

Njokweni, Sesethu G., Annica Steyn, Marelize Botes, Marinda Viljoen-Bloom, and Willem H. van Zyl 2021. "Potential Valorization of Organic Waste Streams to Valuable Organic Acids through Microbial Conversion: A South African Case Study" Catalysts 11, no. 8: 964. https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080964

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