(202g) Oil Accumulation by Sewage-Grown Oleaginous Microorganisms | AIChE

(202g) Oil Accumulation by Sewage-Grown Oleaginous Microorganisms


Ford, A. T. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
French, T. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Hernandez, R. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Holmes, W. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Alley, E. G. - Presenter, Mississippi State University

The looming energy crisis and recent research in renewable fuels has led to an understanding that any solution will most likely involve many different strategies. The ability of certain microorganisms to accumulate oils utilizing sugars as substrates has long been known. In this paper we examine the potential for using a consortium culture of oleaginous microorganisms along with current infrastructure of wastewater treatment facilities to provide an inexpensive source for growth media. Previous work has demonstrated sewage wastewater to be an excellent source for inorganic nutrients. Using sewage supplemented with additional carbon sources, greater cell yields than those obtained using commercially available sources were acquired. Next this consortium of oleaginous microorganisms was offered sugars from acid hydrolyzates to begin triglyceride accumulation. Preliminary results show that at least 20% conversion rates of oil from sugar are possible using individual members of the consortium. Thorough examination of optimum sugar concentration and growth conditions is expected to increase these yields. The combination of low cost substrates using the infrastructure already in place (i.e. wastewater treatment facilities) and lignocellulosic sugars strengthens the potential to produce billions of gallons of renewable feedstock for the production of biodiesel or renewable diesel.