Indexed on: 15 Jul '15Published on: 15 Jul '15Published in: Bioresource Technology
Microbial lipids produced by oleaginous yeasts serve as promising alternatives to traditional oils and fats for the production of biodiesel and oleochemicals. To improve its techno-economics, it is pivotal to use wastes and produce high quality lipids of special fatty acid composition. In the present study, four oleaginous yeasts were tested to use free fatty acids for lipid production under non-growth conditions. Microbial lipids of exceptionally high fatty acid relative contents, e.g. those contained over 70% myristic acid or 80% oleic acid, were produced that may be otherwise inaccessible by growing cells on various carbon sources. It was found that Cryptococcus curvatus is a robust strain that can efficiently use oleic acid as well as even-numbered saturated fatty acids with carbon atoms ranging from 10 to 20. Our results provided new opportunity for the production of functional lipids and for the exploitation of organic wastes rich in free fatty acids.