Bioconversion of Dairy Processing Waste into Value-Added Chemicals

  • Kim, Dong-Shik (Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering University of Toledo)
  • 발행 : 2003.12.31


More than 145 million tons of liquid whey is produced world-wide as dairy processing waste per year, and half of it is discarded without proper treatment. Due to its high nutrient value, the environmental impact can be significant. Bioconversion of cheese whey can provide an effective way to reduce the waste and, at the same time, generate economically attractive value-added chemicals. In this study, cheese whey was fermented with P. acidipropionici to produce propionic acid which has a high market value for chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In order to specifically enhance propionic acid production, acetic acid production was suppressed using o-iodosobenzoic acid as an enzyme inhibitor. When grown in the presence of the inhibitor, propionic acid production rate increased by a factor of 2 while acetic acid production rate decreased by a factor of 3. Furthermore, when 0.3 mM of o-iodosobenzoic acid was used, the incipient stage(creeping growth period) was considerably reduced. Therefore, the inhibitor helps the cells begin to grow earlier and speed up the production of propionic acid. Although the production rate of propionic acid effectively increased, the final concentration(or production yield) remained unchanged due to product inhibition. Methods that can reduce product inhibition are being tested combined with o-iodosobenzoic acid to optimize both the production rate and yield. The results are expected to be informative for controlling the other byproducts for other applications.