(289d) Conversion of Crude Glycerol From Biodisel Production to Oil Via the Oleaginous Yeast Rhodotorula Glutinis

Thomas, J. M. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Hernandez, R. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
French, T. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Holmes, W. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Alley, E. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Hall, J. - Presenter, Mississippi State University

Over the past decade the growing popularity of biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum-derived diesel fuel has created a dramatic increase in the production of crude glycerol. With the high cost of feedstock and low price of the crude glycerol byproduct many biodiesel producers have scaled back operations or shutdown completely. If biodiesel is to succeed as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels it is essential that the crude glycerol produced is processed/refined cost effectively into a value-added product. Oleaginous microorganisms have the ability to use many different types of carbon sources, such as glycerol, and convert them into oils that can then be used for the production of fuels. The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility of the oleaginous species Rhodotorula glutinis to utilize crude glycerol as a carbon source for the production of oils. The study will evaluate the kinetics of biomass growth, oil production, and glycerol consumption of R. glutinis grown on crude glycerol from biodiesel production. The crude glycerol kinetics will be compared to kinetics of R. glutinis grown on pure glycerol to determine any inhibitory effects of the crude glycerol contaminants.