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Simultaneous lactic acid production from biomasses and phosphate rock solubilization: an eco-friendly bioprocess aiming biofertilization of soils

Grant number: 21/13565-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 31, 2022
Effective date (End): July 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal Investigator:Fernanda Perpétua Casciatori
Grantee:Marília Batistella Costa
Supervisor: Joachim Venus
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:20/05219-4 - Solid state cultivation of Aspergillus niger for citric acid production and biological solubilization of rock aiming to soil biofertilization, BP.IC


In order to minimize the environmental impacts of agricultural activities, reducing the use of agrochemicals is mandatory. Considering there is usually a need to supplement the soil with phosphate for the good development of several crops, an alternative that has shown to be promising is the use of biological agents capable of acting as biofertilizers, promoting biological solubilization of the mineral from phosphate rocks, in which phosphorus is contained in the form of stable complexes that need to be broken down for the mineral to become available to the plants. The main mechanism of phosphate solubilization by microorganisms is associated with the production of organic acids, but it can also be associated with the adhesion of the microorganism to the rock particles. Parallelly, biomass valorization by means of its utilization as a renewable raw material for the production of different bioproducts is a trend for the development of biorefinery concepts that enable the complete use of biomasses and the closing of substance cycles. In this context, the current project proposes to perform the cultivation of Bacillus coagulans, already known for its ability to produce lactic acid from lignocellulosic materials, in the presence of a Brazilian commercial phosphate rock. The experimental work, to be held in Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, will consist of carrying out cultivations with variable culture medium composition, with different carbon and nitrogen sources. For all the conditions tested, the cultivation broth will be added of 2% (w/v) of powdered Brazilian rock Pratápolis, which is a phosphate rock from Pratápolis (MG, Brazil) and presents very low phosphorus solubility. Lactic acid production and phosphate solubilization will be evaluated along and at the end of the cultivations. A relationship among them will be sought to be established, with the help of kinetic data. At the end of the project, it is expected to have a cultivated broth to be directly applied for crop fields biofertilization. (AU)

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