Production of Fungal Biomass Protein by Filamentous Fungi Cultivation on Liquid Waste Streams from Pulping Process

Mohammadtaghi Asadollahzadeh, Ali Ghasemian, Ahmadreza Saraeian, Hossein Resalati, Mohammad J. Taherzadeh


The aim of this study was to convert the spent liquors obtained from acidic sulfite and neutral sulfite semi-chemical (NSSC) pulping processes into protein-rich fungal biomass. Three filamentous fungi, Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae, were cultivated on the diluted spent liquors in an airlift bioreactor with airflow of 0.85 vvm at 35 °C and pH 5.5. Maximum values of 10.17 g, 6.14 g, and 5.47 g of biomass per liter of spent liquor were achieved in the cultivation of A. oryzae, M. indicus, and R. oryzae on the spent sulfite liquor (SSL) diluted to 60%, respectively, while A. oryzae cultivation on the spent NSSC liquor (SNL) diluted to 50% resulted in the production of 3.27 g biomass per liter SNL. The fungal biomasses contained 407 g to 477 g of protein, 31 g to 114 g of fat, 56 g to 89 g of ash, and 297 g to 384 g of alkali-insoluble material (AIM) per kg of dry biomass. The amino acids, fatty acids, and mineral elements composition of the fungal biomasses corresponded to the composition of commercial protein sources especially soybean meal. Among the fungi examined, A. oryzae showed better performance to produce protein-rich fungal biomass during cultivation in the spent liquors.


Fungal biomass; Protein; Aspergillus oryzae; Mucor indicus; Rhizopus oryzae; Spent sulfite liquor; Spent NSSC liquor

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