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Fungal cultivation on sugarcane vinasse and development of a platform for high-value products in the ethanol industry

Grant number: 17/12908-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal researcher:Heizir Ferreira de Castro
Grantee:Cristiano Eduardo Rodrigues Reis
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/10636-8 - From the cell factory to the Biodiesel-Bioethanol integrated biorefinery: a systems approach applied to complex problems in micro and macroscales, AP.BIOEN.TEM


The production of sugar-based ethanol from sugarcane generates vinasse as one of the by-products, which is characterized by its high organic load, sulfate and potassium and low nitrogen concentration. The chemical characterization of vinasse prevents it from being an efficient microbial culture medium for fungi, which could produce high-value metabolites. There are, however, various techniques for pretreatment of the vinasse in order to reduce its microbial toxicity, such as those based on advanced oxidative processes, chemical precipitation and even some based on white-rot fungi, producers of laccase and manganese peroxidase. Mucor circinelloides is a fungal strain of industrial interest, due to its robustness and growth capacity in culture media with significant concentrations of inhibitory compounds. The zygomycete M. circinelloides is also capable of producing high concentrations of intracellular lipids, and high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Consequently, the fungus M. circinelloides is a strong candidate for an integration of the 1G-2G biorefinery of the ethanol and biodiesel industries. This project aims to outline the strategy of this integration by cultivating M. circinelloides in pretreated sugarcane vinasse by advanced oxidative processes. Specifically, the objectives of the proposal are: (i) development of pre-treatment of vinasse by advanced oxidative processes and physical-chemical characterization of pre-treated vinasse; (ii) growth of M. circinelloides in pre-treated vinasse and optimization of growth parameters and lipid production; (iii) Determination of the parameters of interest, with special emphasis on the fatty acid profile of the microbial oil, targeting biodiesel production (low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids) or hydrolysis (high 18:3 content); (iv) transesterification of M. circinelloides biomass using ethanol as an acylating agent using heterogeneous biochemical and chemical catalysts; (v) To study processes to obtain fatty acids by enzymatic hydrolysis to obtain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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Scientific publications (6)
(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)
REIS, CRISTIANO E. RODRIGUES; VALLE, GIOVANNA F.; BENTO, HEITOR B. S.; CARVALHO, ANA K. F.; ALVES, THIAGO M.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F. Sugarcane by-products within the biodiesel production chain: Vinasse and molasses as feedstock for oleaginous fungi and conversion to ethyl esters. FUEL, v. 277, OCT 1 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ZORN, SAVIENNE M. F. E.; REIS, CRISTIANO E. R.; SILVA, MESSIAS B.; HU, BO; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F. Consortium Growth of Filamentous Fungi and Microalgae: Evaluation of Different Cultivation Strategies to Optimize Cell Harvesting and Lipid Accumulation. ENERGIES, v. 13, n. 14 JUL 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ZORN, SAVIENNE M. F. E.; REIS, CRISTIANO E. R.; BENTO, HEITOR B. S.; DE CARVALHO, ANA KARINE F.; SILVA, MESSIAS B.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F. In Situ Transesterification of Marine Microalgae Biomass via Heterogeneous Acid Catalysis. BioEnergy Research, v. 13, n. 4 JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
RODRIGUES REIS, CRISTIANO E.; CARVALHO, ANA K. F.; BENTO, HEITOR B. S.; ALVES, THIAGO M.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F. Lowering the inhibition of sugarcane vinasse as a culture medium for oleaginous fungi through oxidative pre-treatment aiming at the degradation of toxic compounds. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, v. 95, n. 11 MAY 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BENTO, HEITOR B. S.; CARVALHO, ANA K. F.; REIS, CRISTIANO E. R.; DE CASTRO, HEIZIR F. Single cell oil production and modification for fuel and food applications: Assessing the potential of sugarcane molasses as culture medium for filamentous fungus. INDUSTRIAL CROPS AND PRODUCTS, v. 145, MAR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.
RODRIGUES REIS, CRISTIANO E.; D'OTAVIANO, LARISSA OGERO; RAJENDRAN, ARAVINDAN; HU, BO. Co-Culture of Filamentous Feed-Grade Fungi and Microalgae as an Alternative to Increase Feeding Value of Ethanol Coproducts. FERMENTATION-BASEL, v. 4, n. 4 DEC 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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