Combination of algae and yeast fermentation for an integrated process to produce single cell oils
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- Dillschneider, R., Schulze, I., Neumann, A. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2014) 98: 7793. doi:10.1007/s00253-014-5867-4
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Economic and ecological reasons cause the industry to develop new innovative bio-based processes for the production of oil as renewable feedstock. Petroleum resources are expected to be depleted in the near future. Plant oils as sole substituent are highly criticized because of the competitive utilization of the agricultural area for food and energy feedstock production. Microbial lipids of oleaginous microorganisms are therefore a suitable alternative. To decrease production costs of microbial lipids and gain spatial independence from industrial sites of CO2 emission, a combination of heterotrophic and phototrophic cultivation with integrated CO2 recycling was investigated in this study. A feasibility study on a semi-pilot scale was conducted and showed that the cultivation of the oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus on a 1.2-L scale was sufficient to supply a culture of the oleaginous microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum in a 21-L bubble column reactor with CO2 while single cell oils were produced in both processes due to a nutrient limitation.