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Special Issue "Bioprocess Engineering"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Marianne Su-Ling Brooks

Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (902) 494-6482
Interests: bioprocess engineering; value-added bioproducts; waste utilization/treatment; encapsulation of bioactive compounds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been a global awareness and commitment to working towards a sustainable bio-based economy. With the world’s population constantly increasing, and placing more demands on available resources and the environment, there is an urgent need to shift from an economy that is dependent on fossil-fuels to a one that is centered on renewable biological resources. The bioeconomy requires research and innovation in all aspects related to the processing of biological materials or “bioprocess engineering”. This relies on the contributions from disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology, biotechnology, and chemical and environmental engineering.

The broadest definition of bioprocess engineering includes any process involving the transformation of a biological material to another product. Some of these processes may involve microorganisms or enzymes and can also include the degradation of environmental pollutants, as well as the production of high value products. Examples include the extraction of bioactive peptides and enzymes from fish processing wastes, the use of microalgae to produce biodiesel and the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes. As such, bioprocess engineering can be applied to a wide range of areas including the production of food, pharmaceuticals, biofuels and speciality chemicals, as well as the treatment of wastes.

This special issue calls for original research, mini and full reviews, and perspectives that address advances in the field of bioprocess engineering. These include, but are not limited to areas relating to the keywords.

Dr. Marianne Su-Ling Brooks
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. 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

  • anaerobic digestion
  • biofuel production
  • bioprocess engineering
  • environmental biotechnology
  • enzyme technology
  • food process engineering
  • industrial fermentation
  • microalgal process engineering

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Enrichment of Secondary Wastewater Sludge for Production of Hydrogen from Crude Glycerol and Comparative Evaluation of Mono-, Co- and Mixed-Culture Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17010092
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 31 December 2015 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion using mixed-culture with broader choice of pretreatments for hydrogen (H2) production was investigated. Pretreatment of wastewater sludge by five methods, such as heat, acid, base, microwave and chloroform was conducted using crude glycerol (CG) as substrate. Results for heat [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion using mixed-culture with broader choice of pretreatments for hydrogen (H2) production was investigated. Pretreatment of wastewater sludge by five methods, such as heat, acid, base, microwave and chloroform was conducted using crude glycerol (CG) as substrate. Results for heat treatment (100 °C for 15 min) showed the highest H2 production across the pretreatment methods with 15.18 ± 0.26 mmol/L of medium at 30 °C in absence of complex media and nutrient solution. The heat-pretreated inoculum eliminated H2 consuming bacteria and produced twice as much as H2 as compared to other pretreatment methods. The fermentation conditions, such as CG concentration (1.23 to 24 g/L), percentage of inoculum size (InS) (1.23% to 24% v/v) along with initial pH (2.98 to 8.02) was tested using central composite design (CCD) with H2 production as response parameter. The maximum H2 production of 29.43 ± 0.71 mmol/L obtained at optimum conditions of 20 g/L CG, 20% InS and pH 7. Symbiotic correlation of pH over CG and InS had a significant (p-value: 0.0011) contribution to H2 production. The mixed-culture possessed better natural acclimatization activity for degrading CG, at substrate inhibition concentration and provided efficient inoculum conditions in comparison to mono- and co-culture systems. The heat pretreatment step used across mixed-culture system is simple, cheap and industrially applicable in comparison to mono-/co-culture systems for H2 production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Production of Two Novel Methoxy-Isoflavones from Biotransformation of 8-Hydroxydaidzein by Recombinant Escherichia coli Expressing O-Methyltransferase SpOMT2884 from Streptomyces peucetius
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27816-27823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161126070
Received: 5 November 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 18 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biotransformation of 8-hydroxydaidzein by recombinant Escherichia coli expressing O-methyltransferase (OMT) SpOMT2884 from Streptomyces peucetius was investigated. Two metabolites were isolated and identified as 7,4′-dihydroxy-8-methoxy-isoflavone (1) and 8,4′-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-isoflavone (2), based on mass, 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 13C-NMR spectrophotometric [...] Read more.
Biotransformation of 8-hydroxydaidzein by recombinant Escherichia coli expressing O-methyltransferase (OMT) SpOMT2884 from Streptomyces peucetius was investigated. Two metabolites were isolated and identified as 7,4′-dihydroxy-8-methoxy-isoflavone (1) and 8,4′-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-isoflavone (2), based on mass, 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 13C-NMR spectrophotometric analysis. The maximum production yields of compound (1) and (2) in a 5-L fermenter were 9.3 mg/L and 6.0 mg/L, respectively. The two methoxy-isoflavones showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on melanogenesis in cultured B16 melanoma cells under non-toxic conditions. Among the effects, compound (1) decreased melanogenesis to 63.5% of the control at 25 μM. This is the first report on the 8-O-methylation activity of OMT toward isoflavones. In addition, the present study also first identified compound (1) with potent melanogenesis inhibitory activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Bio-Ethanol Production from Industrial Potato Waste by Statistical Medium Optimization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 24490-24505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161024490
Received: 20 August 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial wastes are of great interest as a substrate in production of value-added products to reduce cost, while managing the waste economically and environmentally. Bio-ethanol production from industrial wastes has gained attention because of its abundance, availability, and rich carbon and nitrogen content. [...] Read more.
Industrial wastes are of great interest as a substrate in production of value-added products to reduce cost, while managing the waste economically and environmentally. Bio-ethanol production from industrial wastes has gained attention because of its abundance, availability, and rich carbon and nitrogen content. In this study, industrial potato waste was used as a carbon source and a medium was optimized for ethanol production by using statistical designs. The effect of various medium components on ethanol production was evaluated. Yeast extract, malt extract, and MgSO4·7H2O showed significantly positive effects, whereas KH2PO4 and CaCl2·2H2O had a significantly negative effect (p-value < 0.05). Using response surface methodology, a medium consisting of 40.4 g/L (dry basis) industrial waste potato, 50 g/L malt extract, and 4.84 g/L MgSO4·7H2O was found optimal and yielded 24.6 g/L ethanol at 30 °C, 150 rpm, and 48 h of fermentation. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that industrial potato waste can be used effectively to enhance bioethanol production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Monitoring of Semi-Continuous Anaerobic Digestion of Sugarcane Waste: Effects of Increasing Organic Loading Rate on Methanogenic Community Dynamics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 23210-23226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161023210
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The anaerobic digestion of filter cake and its co-digestion with bagasse, and the effect of gradual increase of the organic loading rate (OLR) from start-up to overload were investigated. Understanding the influence of environmental and technical parameters on the development of particular methanogenic [...] Read more.
The anaerobic digestion of filter cake and its co-digestion with bagasse, and the effect of gradual increase of the organic loading rate (OLR) from start-up to overload were investigated. Understanding the influence of environmental and technical parameters on the development of particular methanogenic pathway in the biogas process was an important aim for the prediction and prevention of process failure. The rapid accumulation of volatile organic acids at high OLR of 3.0 to 4.0 gvs·L1·day1 indicated strong process inhibition. Methanogenic community dynamics of the reactors was monitored by stable isotope composition of biogas and molecular biological analysis. A potential shift toward the aceticlastic methanogenesis was observed along with the OLR increase under stable reactor operating conditions. Reactor overloading and process failure were indicated by the tendency to return to a predominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis with rising abundances of the orders Methanobacteriales and Methanomicrobiales and drop of the genus Methanosarcina abundance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Biogas Production from Sugarcane Waste: Assessment on Kinetic Challenges for Process Designing
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20685-20703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160920685
Received: 19 July 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 19 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (1692 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biogas production from sugarcane waste has large potential for energy generation, however, to enable the optimization of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process each substrate characteristic should be carefully evaluated. In this study, the kinetic challenges for biogas production from different types of sugarcane [...] Read more.
Biogas production from sugarcane waste has large potential for energy generation, however, to enable the optimization of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process each substrate characteristic should be carefully evaluated. In this study, the kinetic challenges for biogas production from different types of sugarcane waste were assessed. Samples of vinasse, filter cake, bagasse, and straw were analyzed in terms of total and volatile solids, chemical oxygen demand, macronutrients, trace elements, and nutritional value. Biochemical methane potential assays were performed to evaluate the energy potential of the substrates according to different types of sugarcane plants. Methane yields varied considerably (5–181 Nm3·tonFM−1), mainly due to the different substrate characteristics and sugar and/or ethanol production processes. Therefore, for the optimization of AD on a large-scale, continuous stirred-tank reactor with long hydraulic retention times (>35 days) should be used for biogas production from bagasse and straw, coupled with pre-treatment process to enhance the degradation of the fibrous carbohydrates. Biomass immobilization systems are recommended in case vinasse is used as substrate, due to its low solid content, while filter cake could complement the biogas production from vinasse during the sugarcane offseason, providing a higher utilization of the biogas system during the entire year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Biochemical Engineering Approaches for Increasing Viability and Functionality of Probiotic Bacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(6), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060867
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The literature presents a growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive effect of probiotics on health. Probiotic consumption levels are rising quickly in the world despite the fluctuation of their viability and functionality. Technological methods aiming at improving probiotic characteristics are thus highly [...] Read more.
The literature presents a growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive effect of probiotics on health. Probiotic consumption levels are rising quickly in the world despite the fluctuation of their viability and functionality. Technological methods aiming at improving probiotic characteristics are thus highly wanted. However, microbial metabolic engineering toolbox is not available for this kind of application. On the other hand, basic microbiology teaches us that bacteria are able to exhibit adaptation to external stresses. It is known that adequately applied sub-lethal stress, i.e., controlled in amplitude and frequency at a given stage of the culture, is able to enhance microbial robustness. This property could be potentially used to improve the viability of probiotic bacteria, but some technical challenges still need to be overcome before any industrial implementation. This review paper investigates the different technical tools that can be used in order to define the proper condition for improving viability of probiotic bacteria and their implementation at the industrial scale. Based on the example of Bifidobacterium bifidum, potentialities for simultaneously improving viability, but also functionality of probiotics will be described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioprocess Engineering)
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