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Culture of Oleaginous Yeasts in Dairy Industry Wastewaters to Obtain Lipids Suitable for the Production of II-Generation Biodiesel

Authors: Domenico Pirozzi, Angelo Ausiello, Gaetano Zuccaro, Filomena Sannino, Abu Yousuf


The oleaginous yeasts Lipomyces starkey were grown in the presence of dairy industry wastewaters (DIW). The yeasts were able to degrade the organic components of DIW and to produce a significant fraction of their biomass as triglycerides. When using DIW from the Ricotta cheese production or residual whey as growth medium, the L. starkey could be cultured without dilution nor external organic supplement. On the contrary, the yeasts could only partially degrade the DIW from the Mozzarella cheese production, due to the accumulation of a metabolic product beyond the threshold of toxicity. In this case, a dilution of the DIW was required to obtain a more efficient degradation of the carbon compounds and an higher yield in oleaginous biomass. The fatty acid distribution of the microbial oils obtained showed a prevalence of oleic acid, and is compatible with the production of a II generation biodiesel offering a good resistance to oxidation as well as an excellent cold-performance.

Keywords: Yeasts, Lipids, Biodiesel, Dairy industry wastewaters.

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