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Open AccessArticle

Production and Purification of l-lactic Acid in Lab and Pilot Scales Using Sweet Sorghum Juice

1
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
2
tbw research GesmbH, 1120 Wien, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fermentation 2019, 5(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation5020036
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lactic Acid Fermentation and the Colours of Biotechnology)
Sweet sorghum juice (SSJ) was evaluated as fermentation substrate for the production of l-lactic acid. A thermophilic Bacillus coagulans isolate was selected for batch fermentations without the use of additional nutrients. The first batch of SSJ (Batch A) resulted on higher lactic acid concentration, yield and productivity with values of 78.75 g∙L−1, 0.78 g∙g−1 and 1.77 g∙L−1 h−1, respectively. Similar results were obtained when the process was transferred into the pilot scale (50 L), with corresponding values of 73 g∙L−1, 0.70 g∙g−1 and 1.47 g∙L−1 h−1. A complete downstream process scheme was developed in order to separate lactic acid from the fermentation components. Coarse and ultra-filtration were employed as preliminary separation steps. Mono- and bipolar electrodialysis, followed by chromatography and vacuum evaporation were subsequently carried out leading to a solution containing 905.8 g∙L−1 lactic acid, with an optical purity of 98.9%. The results of this study highlight the importance of the downstream process with respect to using SSJ for lactic acid production. The proposed downstream process constitutes a more environmentally benign approach to conventional precipitation methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: fermentation; lactic acid; downstream; sweet sorghum juice; Bacillus coagulans fermentation; lactic acid; downstream; sweet sorghum juice; Bacillus coagulans
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Olszewska-Widdrat, A.; Alexandri, M.; López-Gómez, J.P.; Schneider, R.; Mandl, M.; Venus, J. Production and Purification of l-lactic Acid in Lab and Pilot Scales Using Sweet Sorghum Juice. Fermentation 2019, 5, 36.

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