Bioconversion of volatile fatty acids into lipids by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica.

Research paper by Pierre P Fontanille, Vinod V Kumar, Gwendoline G Christophe, Régis R Nouaille, Christian C Larroche

Indexed on: 03 Apr '12Published on: 03 Apr '12Published in: Bioresource Technology


The valorization of volatile fatty acids into microbial lipids by the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica was investigated. Therefore, a two-stage fed-batch strategy was designed: the yeast was initially grown on glucose or glycerol as carbon source, then sequential additions of acetic acid under nitrogen limiting conditions were performed after glucose or glycerol exhaustion. The typical values obtained with an initial 40 g/L concentration of glucose were close to 31 g/L biomass, a lipid concentration of 12.4 g/L, which correspond to a lipid content of the biomass close to 40%. This cultivation strategy was also efficient with other volatile fatty acids (butyric and propionic acids) or with a mixture of these three VFAs. The lipids composition was found quite similar to that of vegetable oils. The study demonstrated the feasibility of simultaneous biovalorization of volatile fatty acids and glycerol, two cheap industrial by-products.