Comprehensive assessment of the l-lysine production process from fermentation of sugarcane molasses
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l-Lysine is an essential amino acid that can be produced by chemical processes from fossil raw materials, as well as by microbial fermentation, the latter being a more efficient and environmentally friendly procedure. In this work, the production process of l-lysine-HCl is studied using a systematic approach based on modeling and simulation, which supports decision making in the early stage of process design. The study considers two analysis stages: first, the dynamic analysis of the fermentation reactor, where the conversion of sugars from sugarcane molasses to l-lysine with a strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum is carried out. In this stage, the operation mode (either batch or fed batch) and operating conditions of the fermentation reactor are defined to reach the maximum technical criteria. Afterwards, the second analysis stage relates to the industrial production process of l-lysine-HCl, where the fermentation reactor, upstream processing, and downstream processing are included. In this stage, the influence of key parameters on the overall process performance is scrutinized through the evaluation of several technical, economic, and environmental criteria, to determine a profitable and sustainable design of the l-lysine production process. The main results show how the operating conditions, process design, and selection of evaluation criteria can influence in the conceptual design. The best plant design shows maximum product yield (0.31 g l-lysine/g glucose) and productivity (1.99 g/L/h), achieving 26.5% return on investment (ROI) with a payback period (PBP) of 3.8 years, decreasing water and energy consumption, and with a low potential environmental impact (PEI) index.
Keywordsl-Lysine production Fermentation Process simulation Process modeling Techno-economic and environmental evaluation
The authors would like to acknowledge Rodolfo Quintero-Ramirez from UAM and Rafiqul Gani from DTU for useful discussions. Partial financial support is gratefully acknowledged from UAM (Omar Anaya-Reza, Grant 2131800687) and Conacyt (Teresa Lopez-Arenas, project 133325).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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