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Physicochemical Characterization of Potassium Hydroxide Pretreated Chestnut Shell and Its Bioconversion to Lactic Acid by Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus

Lactic acid (LA) is an important platform chemical with a wide range of applications, including bioplastic materials, and demand for it is growing rapidly. However, the high cost of feedstock for LA production is a major barrier to industrial production. This study designed a process to produce LA from chestnut shell (CS), a low-cost biomass. The entire process includes KOH pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, and fermentation. This study investigated the chemical compositions and physicochemical properties of raw CS and KOH pretreated CS (KpCS) to evaluate the impact of the pretreatment process that enhances the conversion of cellulose into glucose. The results showed that KOH affected the lignin removal and surface morphological changes of CS, and FT-IR and TGA patterns correlated to increased cellulose fractions were found. In the fermentation process, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus was selected as a prominent LA producer, and the fermentation using KpCS hydrolysate was carried out. As a result, cell growth (27%), glucose consumption (23%), and LA production (21%) were all achieved higher than the control group. The LA production yield from our suggested process was estimated to be 187 g/kg CS, and we concluded that CS has a high potential as a feedstock for LA production.

Publication date: 30/11/2023

Author: Jeongho Lee

Reference: doi: 10.3390/pr11123340

MDPI (processes)


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