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Succinic acid production from cheese whey by biofilms of Actinobacillus succinogenes: packed bed bioreactor tests


Succinic acid (SA) biotechnological production represents a promising alternative to the fossil‐fuel based chemical production route. The goal of this study was to develop a SA production process conducted with biofilms of Actinobacillus succinogenes and fed with cheese whey, a lactose‐rich by‐product of the cheese‐making processes.


The screening between five commercial biofilm carriers, based on a statistical analysis of the process rates and yields, led to the selection of Glaxstone®, a sintered glass porous material. The attached‐cell performances obtained when SA production was fed with cheese whey or with pure lactose were equivalent. The feasibility of a repeated batch process of SA production by biofilms of A. succinogenes was demonstrated in a Glaxstone®‐filled 1‐L packed bed bioreactor, and an effective sequence of biofilm growth and SA production phases was identified. A SA productivity of 0.72 gSA L−1packed bed h−1, a SA specific production rate of 0.18 gSA gprotein−1 h−1 and a biofilm concentration of about 4 g L−1packed bed were obtained.


SA bioproduction under biofilm conditions from organic by‐products such as cheese whey is a feasible and promising process. This work represents the first attempt to develop a biofilm‐based process of SA bioproduction from cheese whey.

Authors:   Luca Longanesi, Dario Frascari, Cecilia Spagni, Heleen DeWever, Davide Pinelli
Journal:   Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology
Year:   2017
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/jctb.5347
Publication date:   05-Jun-2017
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • lactose
  • glass
  • concentration
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