, Volume 172, Issue 4, pp 2205-2217
Date: 18 Dec 2013

Solid-State Fermentation for Humic Acids Production by a Trichoderma reesei Strain Using an Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch as the Substrate

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Empty fruit bunch (EFB), an underutilized waste product of oil palm processing, was studied as a substrate for the production of humic acids (HA) by a Trichoderma reesei strain by solid-state fermentation (SSF) in Raimbault columns. HA have attracted the attention of many investigators due to their applications in agriculture, industry, the environment, and biomedicine. Commercial HA are currently chemically extracted from peat and coal, which are nonrenewable carbon sources. Biotechnological processes are important for their sustainable and controlled production, with SSF being especially promising for mimicking the natural habitat of fungi. Trichoderma sporulation and HA production are related, and the results of this study showed that SSF stimulated fast sporulation. The productivity related to HA was much higher than that of the biomass, indicating an efficient utilization of EFB. These findings, added to the low cost of EFB, make SSF an attractive process for HA production.