Effects of medium supplementation and pH control on lactic acid production from brewer's spent grain
ABSTRACT A cellulose pulp obtained by chemical pre-treatment of brewer's spent grain was saccharified by a commercial cellulase preparation and the produced hydrolysate (50 g/l glucose) was fermented to lactic acid by Lactobacillus delbrueckii. The effects of pH control and nutrient supplementation of the hydrolysate on fermentation performance were investigated. Addition of 5 g/l yeast extract enhanced the lactic acid volumetric productivity that attained 0.53 g/l h, value 18% higher than that obtained from non-supplemented hydrolysate. Addition of the MRS broth medium components (except the carbon source) was still better, providing a productivity of 0.79 g/l h. In all the cases, the lactic acid yield factor was of 0.7 g/g glucose consumed, but the fermentations stopped after 24 h due to the pH drop from 6.0 to 4.2, resulting in large amounts of residual glucose (38–41 g/l). Fermentation runs pH-controlled at 6.0 gave better results than those where the initial pH was not further controlled. The best result, 35.54 g/l lactic acid (0.99 g/g glucose consumed) was obtained during the pH-controlled fermentation of hydrolysate medium supplemented with MRS components. The volumetric productivity at the end of this fermentation was 0.59 g/l h, with a maximum of 0.82 g/l h during the first 12 h.