new generation biodieselCongratulations to our Ph.D. student Nicola Di Fidio for his scientific publication entitled “From paper mill waste to single cell oil: enzymatic hydrolysis to sugars and their fermentation into microbial oil by the yeast Lipomyces starkeyi” in the journal “Bioresource Technology”.

Single cell oil (SCO) represents an outstanding alternative to both fossil sources and vegetable oils from food crops. In this work, an innovative two-step process for the conversion of cellulosic paper mill waste into new generation oil was proposed and optimised. Hydrolysates containing glucose and xylose were produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of the untreated waste. Under the optimised reaction conditions glucose and xylose yields of 95 mol% were reached. The undetoxified hydrolysate was adopted as substrate for a batch-mode fermentation by the oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi. Lipid yield, lipid content for single cell, production and maximum oil productivity were 20.2 wt%, 37 wt%, 3.7 g/L and 2.0 g/L/d respectively. This new generation oil, obtained from a negative value industrial waste, represents a promising platform chemical for the production of biodiesel, biosurfactants, animal feed and biobased plastics.
This cascade approach ensured the complete conversion of a renewable resource into high added-value molecules, in the perspective of the new model of Circular Economy and the Green Chemistry principles.
Nicola’s work is available at the following link:

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Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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