Special Issue "Fermentative Production of Biofuels and Bioproducts within a Biorefinery Perspective"

A special issue of Fermentation (ISSN 2311-5637). This special issue belongs to the section "Fermentation Process Design".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 7538

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Susmozas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CIEMAT, Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Unit, Madrid, Spain
Interests: lignocellulosic biomass; bioethanol; bioproduts; biorefinery; techno-economic assessment
Dr. Aleta Duque
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CIEMAT, Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Unit, Madrid, Spain
Interests: lignocellulosic biomass; pretreatment; bioethanol; biorefinery; bioprocesses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biorefineries are one of the vectors of change that should lead the transition to a bioeconomy-based society. The ability of using and completely valorizing the available biomass resources will contribute to covering our energy and material needs in a more sustainable way. In this context, the development of efficient biomass conversion technologies is a key point for achieving the economic viability of biorefineries. Among the different technologies, fermentation-based processes have the potential to obtain both sustainable biofuels (bioethanol, biobutanol, etc.) and industrially relevant high-added value bioproducts (xylitol, lactic acid, etc.) from a wide variety of lignocellulosic biomass.

This Special Issue aims to offer a broad perspective on the role that fermentation processes play in innovative biorefinery routes and the portfolio of products that can be obtained, including biofuels and other interesting high-added value chemicals. We welcome manuscripts including, but not limited, to the following topics:

  • Study of novel raw materials for the production of biofuels and bioproducts through fermentation processes (e.g., urban and industrial wastes);
  • Study of new fermentative strains and fermentation strategies to produce biofuels and bioproducts
  • Development of integrated concepts for biofuels and bioproducts obtained through fermentation-based processes
  • Techno-economic assessment of biorefinery concepts
  • Life-cycle assessments of biorefinery concepts

Dr. Ana Susmozas
Dr. Aleta Duque
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fermentation is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biorefinery
  • biomass processing
  • biofuels
  • bioproducts
  • microbial fermentation
  • techno-economic assessment
  • life-cycle assessments

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Biochemical Methane Potential of a Biorefinery’s Process-Wastewater and its Components at Different Concentrations and Temperatures
Fermentation 2022, 8(10), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8100476 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 284
Abstract
A sustainable circular bioeconomy requires the side streams and byproducts of biorefineries to be assimilated into bioprocesses to produce value-added products. The present study endeavored to utilize such a byproduct generated during the synthesis of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural as a potential feedstock for biogas production. [...] Read more.
A sustainable circular bioeconomy requires the side streams and byproducts of biorefineries to be assimilated into bioprocesses to produce value-added products. The present study endeavored to utilize such a byproduct generated during the synthesis of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural as a potential feedstock for biogas production. For this purpose, biochemical methane potential tests for the full process-wastewater, its components (5-hydroxymethylfurfural, furfural, levulinic acid, and glycolic acid), together with furfural’s metabolites (furfuryl alcohol and furoic acid), and phenols (syringaldehyde, vanillin, and phenol), were conducted at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures to assess their biodegradability and gas production kinetics. 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 g COD of the test components were added separately into assays containing 35 mL of inoculum. At their lowest concentrations, the test components, other than the process-wastewater, exhibited a stimulatory effect on methane production at 37 °C, whereas their increased concentrations returned a lower mean specific methane yield at either temperature. For similar component loads, the mesophilic assays outperformed the thermophilic assays for the mean measured specific methane yields. Components that impaired the anaerobic process with their elevated concentrations were phenol, vanillin, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. Poor degradation of the process-wastewater was deduced to be linked to the considerable share of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in the process-wastewater governing its overall characteristics. With excessive recalcitrant components, it is recommended to use such waste streams and byproducts as a substrate for biogas plants operating at moderate temperatures, but at low rates. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Growth Conditions to Enhance PHA Production by Cupriavidus necator
Fermentation 2022, 8(9), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8090451 - 10 Sep 2022
Viewed by 227
Abstract
The accumulation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by microorganisms usually occurs in response to environmental stress conditions. Therefore, it is advantageous to choose two-step cultivation. The first phase is aimed at maximizing biomass production, and only in the second phase, after setting the suitable conditions, [...] Read more.
The accumulation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by microorganisms usually occurs in response to environmental stress conditions. Therefore, it is advantageous to choose two-step cultivation. The first phase is aimed at maximizing biomass production, and only in the second phase, after setting the suitable conditions, PHA production starts. The aim of this work was to optimize the composition of the minimal propagation medium used for biomass production of Cupriavidus necator DSM 545 using the response surface methodology (RSM). Based on the results from the search for optimization limits, the glucose concentration, the ammonium sulfate concentration and the phosphate buffer molarity were chosen as independent variables. The optimal values were found as follows: the glucose concentration 10.8 g/L; the ammonium sulfate concentration 0.95 g/L; and the phosphate buffer molarity 60.2 mmol/L. The predicted biomass concentration was 4.54 g/L, and the verified value was at 4.84 g/L. Although this work was primarily focused on determining the optimal composition of the propagation medium, we also evaluated the optimal composition of the production medium and found that the optimal glucose concentration was 6.7 g/L; the ammonium sulfate concentration 0.60 g/L; and the phosphate buffer molarity 20 mmol/L. The predicted PHB yield was 54.7% (w/w) of dry biomass, and the verified value was 49.1%. Full article
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Article
Evaluation and Identification of Key Economic Bottlenecks for Cost-Effective Microbial Oil Production from Fruit and Vegetable Residues
Fermentation 2022, 8(7), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8070334 - 15 Jul 2022
Viewed by 470
Abstract
Intensive horticultural systems for the production of vegetables in greenhouses represent one of the main industries generating organic waste, as those that do not meet the quality standards for the fresh market or the processing industry are discarded. This highlights the importance of [...] Read more.
Intensive horticultural systems for the production of vegetables in greenhouses represent one of the main industries generating organic waste, as those that do not meet the quality standards for the fresh market or the processing industry are discarded. This highlights the importance of using these residues as raw material for other applications, such as bioenergy and bioproducts production, within the framework of a bio-based economy that maximizes the utilization of biomass resources in a sustainable manner. In this work, the microbial oil production from discarded pepper using the oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus was evaluated. Overall, a total lipid accumulation of 16.8 g/L was achieved with a fatty acid profile suitable to produce biodiesel. The lipid yield obtained was 0.12 g/g sugars. In addition, experimental results were used to assess the techno-economic feasibility of a proposed microbial oil plant using the software Aspen Plus. This plant yields approximately 96 kg of microbial oils/ton dry discarded pepper, with an estimated Minimum Selling Price of 7 €·kg−1. These figures point out the necessity of increasing the yield of microbial oil production and considering the utilization of possible by-products, such as mannitol and cell debris, to improve the economic performance of the process. Full article
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Article
Fermentation of Dairy-Relevant Sugars by Saccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, and Brettanomyces: An Exploratory Study with Implications for the Utilization of Acid Whey, Part II
Fermentation 2022, 8(6), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8060257 - 28 May 2022
Viewed by 665
Abstract
In Greek-style yogurt production, every kilogram of product yields 2 to 3 kg of acid whey (YAW); this coproduct’s composition and low pH pose challenges for its proper valorization and reinsertion into the food supply chain. However, 240 mL of YAW contains over [...] Read more.
In Greek-style yogurt production, every kilogram of product yields 2 to 3 kg of acid whey (YAW); this coproduct’s composition and low pH pose challenges for its proper valorization and reinsertion into the food supply chain. However, 240 mL of YAW contains over 9 g of lactose and represents a good source of minerals; these traits can be leveraged to develop nutritious fermented beverages. The purpose of this study is to investigate the aerobic fermentation of dairy sugars by different yeasts by characterizing these processes and their products. This will determine whether such methods provide viable options for the production of acetic-acid-containing beverages from YAW. To achieve this, yeast nitrogen base was used to prepare four growth media formulations, each supplemented with lactose, glucose, galactose, or a 1:1 mix of glucose and galactose (GLU:GAL), and each adjusted to a pH of 4.20. Fermentations were performed by pure cultures of S. cerevisiae, K. marxianus, B. claussenii, or B. bruxellensis, and were held at 25 °C with agitation at 185 rpm. For each treatment, density, pH, and microbial enumeration were measured over time to obtain process profiles, while ethanol, organic acids, and sugars were analyzed at the beginning and the end of each fermentation via HPLC, to determine resulting products. ANOVA and Tukey’s honest significant difference test at a significance level of 0.05 were used to compare residual sugars and fermentation products. Variable rates of sugar consumption were observed for each species. In GLU:GAL, B. claussenii consumed all of the glucose, left behind most of the galactose, and produced a high concentration of acetic acid. These results suggest the potential to develop versatile processes that target glucose for acetic acid production, while leaving available galactose to confer products with prebiotic properties. The development of processes for the conversion of YAW into beverages with organic acids and other healthful components not only aligns with consumers’ demands for better-for-you products, but also promotes the valorization of this otherwise underutilized dairy coproduct. Full article
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Article
Production of Fumaric Acid by Rhizopus arrhizus NRRL 1526: A Simple Production Medium and the Kinetic Modelling of the Bioprocess
Fermentation 2022, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8020064 - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Fumaric acid is a promising monomer to obtain biomass-based polyesters and polyamides, and it is mainly produced by fungi of the Rhizopus genus in medium to high titters. The use of glucose, a main component of starchy and cellulosic food waste, as carbon [...] Read more.
Fumaric acid is a promising monomer to obtain biomass-based polyesters and polyamides, and it is mainly produced by fungi of the Rhizopus genus in medium to high titters. The use of glucose, a main component of starchy and cellulosic food waste, as carbon source, together with a low-nitrogen source concentration, is a promising route to reduce process costs. In this work, the effects of nitrogen and carbonate sources on Rhizopus arrhizus NRRL 1526 morphology and fumaric acid productivity were analysed, simplifying the traditional production broth composition. Moreover, a non-structured, non-segregated kinetic model was proposed and fitted to concentration data of all relevant components obtained in batches performed in triplicate with the selected production broth at 34 °C and 200 rpm in an orbital shaker. Full article
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Article
Bioethanol Production as an Alternative End for Maple Syrups with Flavor Defects
Fermentation 2022, 8(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8020058 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1206
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the validity of an alternative route to valorize declassified maple syrups affected by flavor defects such as ropy maple syrup (RMS) and buddy maple syrup (BMS) as feedstocks for ethanol production. An acid hydrolysis treatment [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the validity of an alternative route to valorize declassified maple syrups affected by flavor defects such as ropy maple syrup (RMS) and buddy maple syrup (BMS) as feedstocks for ethanol production. An acid hydrolysis treatment (0.1 M, 0.5 M, 5 M, and 10 M) was performed on the RMS to break the polysaccharide chains which are responsible for the flavor defect. The sugars and inhibitors composition of these hydrolysates were analyzed by ion chromatography and ion exclusion chromatography, respectively. Maple syrup samples were fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae for 96 h at 30 °C, and ethanol content was measured to determine the kinetic parameters of the process. RMS and BMS demonstrated a good potential to be used as feedstocks to produce ethanol achieving high efficiencies (RMS: 90.08%; BMS: 93.34%). The acid hydrolysis (25 min, 50 °C, with the addition of 5 M sulfuric acid solution) was effective to maximize ethanol production when using RMS as feedstock. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that such an approach is used to valorize declassified maple syrups. Full article
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Article
Fermentation of Dairy-Relevant Sugars by Saccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, and Brettanomyces: An Exploratory Study with Implications for the Utilization of Acid Whey, Part I
Fermentation 2021, 7(4), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation7040266 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
Acid whey from Greek-style yogurt (YAW) is an underutilized byproduct and a challenge for the dairy industry. One alternative is the fermentation of YAW by yeasts such as Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, and Kluyveromyces spp., to produce new styles of fermented beverages. Previous [...] Read more.
Acid whey from Greek-style yogurt (YAW) is an underutilized byproduct and a challenge for the dairy industry. One alternative is the fermentation of YAW by yeasts such as Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, and Kluyveromyces spp., to produce new styles of fermented beverages. Previous research in our group suggested that the sugar profiles of the dairy coproducts impacted the fermentation profiles produced by B. claussenii. The present work aims to describe the fermentation of dairy sugars by S. cerevisiae, K. marxianus, and B. claussenii, under conditions comparable to those of YAW. For this purpose, four preparations of yeast nitrogen base, each containing 40 g/L of either lactose (LAC), glucose (GLU), galactose (GAL), or a 1:1 mixture of glucose and galactose (GLU:GAL), all at pH 4.20, were used as fermentation media. The fermentation was performed independently by each organism at 25 °C under anoxic conditions, while density, pH, cell count, ethanol, and organic acids were monitored. Non-linear modeling was used to characterize density curves, and Analysis of Variance and Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference tests were used to compare fermentation products. K. marxianus and S. cerevisiae displayed rapid sugar consumption with consistent ethanol yields in all media, as opposed to B. claussenii, which showed more variable results. The latter organism exhibited what appears to be a selective glucose fermentation in GLU:GAL, which will be explored in the future. These results provide a deeper understanding of dairy sugar utilization by relevant yeasts, allowing for future work to optimize fermentations to improve value-added beverage and ingredient production from YAW. Full article
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Article
Direct Ethanol Production from Xylan and Acorn Using the Starch-Fermenting Basidiomycete Fungus Phlebia acerina
Fermentation 2021, 7(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation7030116 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 847
Abstract
During our search for ethanol-producing basidiomycete fungi for a wide range of substrates, we isolated Phlebia acerina, which is a white rot basidiomycete fungus. It favorably converted starch into ethanol with approximately 70% yield. Although the yield decreased as the starch concentration [...] Read more.
During our search for ethanol-producing basidiomycete fungi for a wide range of substrates, we isolated Phlebia acerina, which is a white rot basidiomycete fungus. It favorably converted starch into ethanol with approximately 70% yield. Although the yield decreased as the starch concentration increased, growth and fermentation were observed even at 200 g/L of starch. P. acerina produced ethanol from glucose, galactose, mannose, xylose, cellobiose, and maltose with 93%, 91%, 86%, 72%, 92%, and 68% yields, respectively. Additionally, P. acerina, which secreted xylanase and xylosidase, was capable of assimilating xylan and directly converting it to ethanol with a yield of 63%. Furthermore, P. acerina produced ethanol directly from acorns, which are plant fruits containing starch and tannins, with a yield of 70%. Tannin delayed mycelia growth, thus prolonging ethanol production; however, this did not particularly affect the yield. These results were similar to those of fermentation in a medium with the same amounts of starch and tannin as the target crop acorn, thus suggesting that P. acerina could successfully produce environmentally friendly ethanol from starch-containing lignocellulosic biomass, unlike previously reported ethanol-producing basidiomycete fungi. Full article
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Review

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Review
Chitosan Production by Fungi: Current State of Knowledge, Future Opportunities and Constraints
Fermentation 2022, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8020076 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Conventionally, the commercial supply of chitin and chitosan relies on shellfish wastes as the extraction sources. However, the fungal sources constitute a valuable option, especially for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, due to the batch-to-batch unsteady properties of chitin and chitosan from conventional ones. [...] Read more.
Conventionally, the commercial supply of chitin and chitosan relies on shellfish wastes as the extraction sources. However, the fungal sources constitute a valuable option, especially for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, due to the batch-to-batch unsteady properties of chitin and chitosan from conventional ones. Fungal production of these glycans is not affected by seasonality enables accurate process control and, consequently, more uniform properties of the obtained product. Moreover, liquid and solid production media often are derived from wastes, thus enabling the application of circular economy criteria and improving the process economics. The present review deals with fungal chitosan production processes focusing on waste-oriented and integrated production processes. In doing so, contrary to other reviews that used a genus-specific approach for organizing the available information, the present one bases the discussion on the bioprocess typology. Finally, the main process parameters affecting chitosan production and their interactions are critically discussed. Full article
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