Biotechnological production of d-glyceric acid and its application
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Glycerol is currently produced in large amounts as a by-product during fat splitting and biodiesel fuel production. Over the past decade, both chemical and biotechnological processes to convert glycerol to value-added chemicals have been increasingly explored. This mini-review provides recent information about the biotechnological production of a glycerol derivative, d-glyceric acid (d-GA), and its possible applications. Little is known about GA as a bioproduct, but it is naturally found in different kinds of plants as a phytochemical constituent and is reported to have some biological activity. A racemic mixture of dl-GA can be obtained from glycerol via chemical oxidation; however, d-GA is mainly biotechnologically produced with the aid of bacteria. Under aerobic conditions, some acetic acid bacteria transform glycerol into d-GA, and optimization of initial glycerol concentration and aeration rate provided a yield of more than 80 g/l d-GA, using a strain of Gluconobacter frateurii.
KeywordsAcetic acid bacteria Biorefinery Biodiesel fuel Glyceric acid Glycerol use
The authors would like to thank the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan for financial support (the Industrial Technology Research Grant Program: 08A26202c).
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