Jorge A Ferreira, Patrik R. Lennartsson, Claes Niklasson, Magnus Lundin, Lars Edebo, Mohammad J. Taherzadeh


Spent sulphite liquor, the major byproduct from the sulphite pulp production process, was diluted to 50% and used for production of an edible zygomycete Rhizopus sp. The focus was on production, yield, and composition of the fungal biomass composition. The fungus grew well at 20 to 40°C, but 32°C was found to be preferable compared to 20 and 40°C in terms of biomass production and yield (maximum of 0.16 g/g sugars), protein content (0.50-0.60 g/g), alkali-insoluble material (AIM) (ca 0.15 g/g), and glucosamine content (up to 0.30 g/g of AIM). During cultivation in a pilot airlift bioreactor, the yield increased as aeration was raised from 0.15 to 1.0 vvm, indicating a high demand for oxygen. After cultivation at 1.0 vvm for 84 h, high yield and production of biomass (up to 0.34 g/g sugars), protein (0.30-0.50 g/g), lipids (0.02-0.07 g/g), AIM (0.16-0.28 g/g), and glucosamine (0.22-0.32 g/g AIM) were obtained. The fungal biomass produced from spent sulphite liquor is presently being tested as a replacement for fishmeal in feed for fish aquaculture and seems to be a potential source of nutrients and for production of glucosamine.


Spent sulphite liquor; Airlift bioreactor; Zygomycetes; Rhizopus; Chitosan; Lipids; Protein

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