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Lactic Acid: A Comprehensive Review of Production to Purification

Lactic acid (LA) has broad applications in the food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. LA production demand rises due to the increasing demand for polylactic acid since LA is a precursor for polylactic acid production. Fermentative LA production using renewable resources, such as lignocellulosic materials, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and offers a cheaper alternative feedstock than refined sugars. Suitable pretreatment methods must be selected to minimize LA cost production, as the successful hydrolysis of lignocellulose results in sugar-rich feedstocks for fermentation. This review broadly focused on fermentative LA production from lignocellulose. Aspects discussed include (i). low-cost materials for fermentative LA production, (ii). pretreatment methods, (iii). enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose, (iv). lactic acid-producing microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, genetically modified microorganisms, and their fermentative pathways, and (v). fermentation modes and methods. Industrial fermentative lactic acid production and purification, difficulties in using lignocellulose in fermentative LA production, and possible strategies to circumvent the challenges were discussed. A promising option for the industrial production and purification of LA that contains enzyme and cell recycling continuous simultaneous saccharification and fermentation coupled with membrane-based separation was proposed. This proposed system can eliminate substrate-, feedback-, and end-product inhibition, thereby increasing LA concentration, productivity, and yield.

Publication date: 24/02/2023

Author: Abidemi Oluranti Ojo

Reference: doi: 10.3390/pr11030688

MDPI (processes)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.