Indexed on: 04 Sep '07Published on: 04 Sep '07Published in: Journal of biotechnology
There have recently been much advances in the production of succinic acid, an important four-carbon dicarboxylic acid for many industrial applications, by fermentation of several natural and engineered bacterial strains. Mannheimia succiniciproducens MBEL55E isolated from bovine rumen is able to produce succinic acid with high efficiency, but also produces acetic, formic and lactic acids just like other anaerobic succinic acid producers. We recently reported the development of an engineered M. succiniciproducens LPK7 strain which produces succinic acid as a major fermentation product while producing much reduced by-products. Having an improved succinic acid producer developed, it is equally important to develop a cost-effective downstream process for the recovery of succinic acid. In this paper, we report the development of a simpler and more efficient method for the recovery of succinic acid. For the recovery of succinic acid from the fermentation broth of LPK7 strain, a simple process composed of a single reactive extraction, vacuum distillation, and crystallization yielded highly purified succinic acid (greater than 99.5% purity, wt%) with a high yield of 67.05wt%. When the same recovery process or even multiple reactive extraction steps were applied to the fermentation broth of MBEL55E, lower purity and yield of succinic acid were obtained. These results suggest that succinic acid can be purified in a cost-effective manner by using the fermentation broth of engineered LPK7 strain, showing the importance of integrating the strain development, fermentation and downstream process for optimizing the whole processes for succinic acid production.