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Optimization of lactic acid production from sugar cane

Grant number: 13/26290-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal researcher:Rubens Maciel Filho
Grantee:Regiane Alves de Oliveira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/57873-8 - An integrated process for total bioethanol production and zero CO2 emission, AP.BIOEN.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):16/14830-3 - Lactic acid production from lignocellulosic hydrolysate using cell recycling fermentation of Bacillus coagulans, BE.EP.DD


Lactic acid is a compound widely used in food, pharmaceutical, medical and chemical industries. Produced from sugars, through biochemical route by fermentation, it has emerged as a potential chemical compound, for the synthesis of renewable and biodegradable plastics, as well as possible precursor for other molecules. The monomer for the Polylactic Acid (PLA) production is highlighted by its versatility to use and its promising characteristics, such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, elasticity, and a good profile for controlled release of drugs. However, its use on industrial scale is still limited due to the relatively high cost of its production, when compared to petrochemical via, It occurs naturally as two optical isomers, D(-) and L(+) lactic acid. Regarding biomaterial applications, the lactic acid enantiomeric purity is also a crucial parameter to the manufacture of biodegradable polymers and plastics, since this affects the physical properties of the PLA. The crystallinity and many other important physical properties such as degradation rates are controlled by the ratio of the enantiomers D(-) and L(+) used. Due to the need of lactic acid enantiomeric purity of in the chemical industry, the production of lactic acid via fermentation has been more efficient when compared to chemical via production. However, in order to the lactic acid produced by fermentation be economically competitive compared to the petrochemical based plastics, it is necessary to keep low costs that is linked to process performance and raw material prices. Therefore, carbon sources such as pentose or hexose from lignocellulose residues can be quite promising, due to mainly, preventing the competition with food supply as well as relatively cheapness, besides being abundant and renewable. Moreover, reusing waste sources has been of increase interest due to environmental concerns and legislation. This has motivated the industry to consider lignocellulose residues as a carbon source for production. Bearing all this in mind, it is clear that the production of lactic acid by fermentation has several advantages when compared to chemical synthesis, such as high yield, low cost of substrates, relatively low temperatures, and low energy consumption. In this sense the objective of this research work is to optimize the lactic production by fermentation of sugars and to propose and evaluate the molecular distillation based process to purify the lactic acid from broth. As carbon sources will be considered sugar cane molasses and hexoses and pentose obtained from sugar cane bagasse hydrolyses. (AU)

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Scientific publications (8)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; KOMESU, ANDREA; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; WOLF MACIEL, MARIA REGINA; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Concentrating second-generation lactic acid from sugarcane bagasse via hybrid short path evaporation: Operational challenges. Separation and Purification Technology, v. 209, p. 26-31, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; KOMESU, ANDREA; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Challenges and opportunities in lactic acid bioprocess design-From economic to production aspects. Biochemical Engineering Journal, v. 133, p. 219-239, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; SCHNEIDER, ROLAND; LUNELLI, BETANIA HOSS; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS; VENUS, JOACHIM. A Simple Biorefinery Concept to Produce 2G-Lactic Acid from Sugar Beet Pulp (SBP): A High-Value Target Approach to Valorize a Waste Stream. Molecules, v. 25, n. 9, . (16/14830-3, 13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; KOMESU, ANDREA; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; WOLF MACIEL, MARIA REGINA; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. A study of the residual fermentation sugars influence on an alternative downstream process for first and second-generation lactic acid. SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY AND PHARMACY, v. 15, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; ALEXANDRI, MARIA; KOMESU, ANDREA; VENUS, JOACHIM; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Current Advances in Separation and Purification of Second-Generation Lactic Acid. SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION REVIEWS, v. 49, n. 2, p. 159-175, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; KOMESU, ANDREA; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; WOLF MACIEL, MARIA REGINA; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Evaluation of Hybrid Short Path Evaporation to Concentrate Lactic Acid and Sugars from Fermentation. BIORESOURCES, v. 13, n. 2, p. 2187-2203, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; VAZ ROSSELL, CARLOS EDUARDO; VENUS, JOACHIM; RABELO, SARITA CANDIDA; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Detoxification of sugarcane-derived hemicellulosic hydrolysate using a lactic acid producing strain. Journal of Biotechnology, v. 278, p. 56-63, . (13/26290-5)
DE OLIVEIRA, REGIANE ALVES; ROSSELL, CARLOS E. VAZ; LUNELLI, BETANIA H.; SCHICHI, PEDRO O. M.; VENUS, JOACHIM; MACIEL FILHO, RUBENS. Different Strategies To Improve Lactic Acid Productivity Based on Microorganism Physiology and Optimum Operating Conditions. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, v. 57, n. 31, p. 10118-10125, . (13/26290-5)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
OLIVEIRA, Regiane Alves de. Desenvolvimento do processo de produção de ácido lático de primeira e segunda-geração. 2019. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos Campinas, SP.

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