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Exploring the valorization of fats into volatile fatty acids by anaerobic mixed culture fermentation

Grant number: 19/25341-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 15, 2020
Effective date (End): September 14, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Zaiat
Grantee:Jaqueline Cardoso Ribeiro
Supervisor: Juan Manuel Lema
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago (USC), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:17/06940-6 - Evaluation of acidogenic and methanogenic anaerobic reactors in the treatment of vinasse and whey without alkalination, BP.DR


The production of VFAs from organic wastes and residues by anaerobic fermentation is a promising technology and the use of microbial mixed culture fermentation is encouraged due to its various operational and economic advantages. The main limitation that prevents its industrial applicability is a lack of precise understanding of how different organic fractions are biotransformed into different VFAs. Lipids are one of the fractions constituting organic wastes and its conversion during fermentation is a knowledge-deficient area. Although, it is commonly admitted that beta-oxidation is the main mechanism in LCFAs transformation, many questions on selectivity, conversion and the role of the fatty acid chemical structure remain open. Thus the present project focuses on answering key questions related to the conversion of fats into VFAs so this knowledge can be finally applied in the valorization of a real residual stream. (AU)

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