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Oxygen transfer rate and pH as major operating parameters of citric acid production from glycerol by Yarrowia lipolytica W29 and CBS 2073

Patrícia Ferreira, Marlene Lopes, Manuel Mota, and Isabel Belo

CEB – Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal



Abstract: The amount of citric acid (CA) produced by Yarrowia lipolytica is dependent on the yeast strain and growth conditions such as pH, oxygen availability and medium composition. In this work, an experimental design based on the Taguchi method was applied to evaluate the effect of parameters: pH, carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio in the medium, oxygen mass transfer rate (OTR) and salts concentration, on the CA production by two Y. lipolytica strains, W29 (ATCC 20460) and CBS 2073. OTR and pH showed higher influence on the CA production for both strains. The increase of OTR from air to the culture medium led to a two- and three-fold improvement of the CA production by Y. lipolytica CBS 2073 and W29, respectively. Besides the individual effects of the parameters, a significant influence of the interaction between these parameters was observed, mainly between OTR and salts. Different values of the parameters were found at the optimum conditions for each strain, but the theoretically predicted and experimentally obtained citric acid concentrations (cCA) were approximately 10 g L-1 for both strains. The optimal conditions were also validated employing crude glycerol from biodiesel industry as a substrate, and similar behaviour of the strains was observed.

Keywords: Yarrowia lipolytica – citric acid – pH – oxygen mass transfer rate – salts concentration – glycerol

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2016-0024


Chemical Papers 70 (7) 869–876 (2016)

Monday, June 17, 2024

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